The race that stops the nation, as it is famously known, is usually extremely competitive with the best international staying horses clashes with the best of Australia’s 3200m performers in a contest that is hugely anticipated.
Melbourne Cup winner paid out before the race is run
Incentivise is one of the shortest priced favourites in recent Melbourne Cup history, but one bookmaker has already decided that he will emerge victorious at Flemington on November 2.
But Australian bookmaker Sportsbet has decided to go the early crow and declare the result now – event before the Melbourne Cup has been run.
That’s because they have already paid out on Incentivise, who is tipped by Bets.com.au racing tips as a favourite for the 2021 Melbourne Cup winner, following his devastating win in the 2021 Caulfield Cup, the second biggest race on the Australian racing calendar.
Sportsbet have already paid out up to $6 million to their customers who place bets on Incentivise to win the Melbourne Cup prior to October 19, including all single win and multi bets placed on the current favourite race favourite.
“Incentivise is airborne...So we've paid out early on him to win the Melbourne Cup!” Sportsbet said.
It is quite some move to pay out on the winner, but it follows the lead of rival Australian bookmaker TAB who paid on Zaaki as the winner of the Cox Plate even before the race has been run this weekend at Moonee Valley.
As a result of his win in the Caulfield Cup, the Peter Moody-trained Incentivise has been handed a 1.5kg penalty and will now carry 57kg in the Melbourne Cup as he bids to complete the historic double.
Only 11 horses have managed to win both in history, the first Poseidon in 1906 and the most recent Ethereal in 2001. Others to do so include The Trump, Rivette, Rising Fast, Even Stevens, Galilee, Gurner’s Lane, Let’s Elope and Might And Power
Incentivise, who made it nine wins in a row when winning the Caulfield Cup, will have to lump around second top weight now in the Melbourne Cup. Only defending champion Twilight Payment (58kg) has more to shoulder.
"It's a big challenge, but we are comfortable that the 1.5 kilos taking him to 57 is the right assessment," said Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter.
"If you look at the 11 horses who have done the double there's only one horse who has actually carried 57 or more to win the Melbourne Cup, and that was Rising Fast."
History is against Incentivise with no winner since Makybe Diva achieved her hat-trick of Melbourne Cups in 2005 having carried 57kg or more. You have to go back to 1977 and Gold And Black to find the previous time a runner carrying 57kg plus won the race.
But the fact that stats are against Incentivise has not stopped punters backing him for victory. So much so he is set to start as the shortest-priced Melbourne Cup favourite is almost 100 years.
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