Ballarat born jockey Brett Prebble has backed Incentivise to challenge for the Melbourne Cup after riding the Peter Moody-trained stayer to a dominant victory in the Caulfield Cup on Saturday.
The five-year-old was trapped five-wide early, before working his way to third, one off the fence. Prebble took the pre-race favourite to the front around the home corner, before finding another gear with 250 metres to go to leave the field behind and win by four lengths.
The result gifted Prebble, who grew up in Ballarat before beginning his apprenticeship under Stawell trainer Terry O'Sullivan, his 32 Group 1 win.
It was also his third in as many weeks, following success in the Neds Might and Power and the Turnbull Stakes.
"He is exciting. He is probably one of the most exciting horses I've ridden," Prebble said.
"I was mindful of the fact they weren't going to give him a soft lead. The way the race was run today, there was a fair bit of wind out there, it was a little bit windy.
"I thought, 'I'm definitely going to get cover, even if it is on the side there for the first 1200m'. He doesn't over-race, he doesn't waste his energy like some of the others do. Damien's [Delphi] was a bit aggressive.
"I was surprised he came off the bridle a bit sooner than I would have liked. I showed him the whip before the home turn. All that is telling me is look out Melbourne Cup. He is going to eat up the 3200m."
Earlier in the day, Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander narrowly missed success in the Gothic Stakes after a bob on the line forced Prince Alexander to settle for a second place finish. The developing three-year-old followed eventual winner Extreme Flight away from the field down the straight, but left its last charge too late, ending a nose behind the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained colt.Alexander had another placing on the day with Teewaters coming third in the Neds Classic.
Patrick Payne would celebrate a placing, as jockey Dean Yendall pushed Justacanta through a tough pack to finish third in the Moonga Stakes.