Devastating truth emerges after favourite beaten in Melbourne Cup

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Incentivise, pictured here finishing second behind Verry Elleegant in the Melbourne Cup.
Incentivise finished second behind Verry Elleegant in the Melbourne Cup. (Jay Town/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Trainer Peter Moody has revealed pre-race favourite Incentivise was injured while running the Melbourne Cup.

It emerged on Wednesday morning that Incentivise suffered a leg injury during his brave attempt to hold off Verry Elleegant in the $8 million race.

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Moody told Racing Victoria stewards that Incentivise had swelling in his near foreleg after cooling down following his second placing in the great race.

He said the Caulfield Cup winner would be assessed by a stable veterinarian in the next few days.

Incentivise made a bold bid for Melbourne Cup glory after pressing forward to race on the speed.

He took control of the race at the 400m only for Verry Elleegant to arrive on the scene soon after and put the result beyond doubt.

Incentivise kept UK stayer Spanish Mission at bay to hold down second place at his first attempt at 3200m.

However connections will be devastated that he couldn't go on with the job, and his injury may go some way to explaining the fade out.

Incentivise had been undefeated in his past nine starts in a sequence of victories that started in obscurity and continued on one of the turf's biggest stages in the Caulfield Cup.

The five-year-old gelding had to carry a 57kg handicap because of his three Group 1 wins this Spring Carnival.

Brett Prebble, pictured here riding Incentivise in the mounting yard before the Melbourne Cup.
Brett Prebble rides Incentivise in the mounting yard before the Melbourne Cup. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Geelong Cup winner Tralee Rose was also injured when she was galloped on by another runner in the early stages.

She finished ninth but was taken to a veterinary clinic to have treatment for a leg wound.

She reportedly suffered no serious injuries and had a laceration on her leg stitched.

“The winner was magnificent and is a champion but we just wonder where would we have finished if (Tralee Rose) was okay,” owner Peter Fitzgerald said after the race.

“It is gut-wrenching, she gave her all. She would have been running under duress and pain and everyone is a bit deflated.

“Everyone is really proud of her but is deflated, it is a crap feeling at the moment.

“The preparation has gone perfect the whole way through and today after 2700m where she is usually trucking into it (she couldn’t).

“We couldn’t believe that 500m out she was not trucking into it, we thought ‘this is not right’."

Two jockeys suspended after Melbourne Cup

Meanwhile, Tralee Rose's jockey Dean Holland was one of two riders suspended out of the Cup.

He pleaded guilty to careless riding for causing interference to New Zealand stayer The Chosen One.

Champion jockey Damien Oliver also pleaded guilty to careless riding on Delphi which led to Carif suffering interference.

Oliver was suspended for 11 meetings and will start his ban after Thursday's VRC Oaks meeting.

Verry Elleegant became the first mare to win the Melbourne Cup since the legendary Makybe Diva completed a hat-trick of wins in 2005.

Her victory for trainer Chris Waller and jockey James McDonald ranks as a crowning moment in a decorated racing career.

McDonald says Verry Elleegant deserves to be rated alongside the greats of the Australian turf.

"They can safely say she's a champion now," McDonald said.

Verry Elleegant was sent out an $18 chance before racing away to beat Incentivise ($2.90) by four lengths.

Spanish Mission ($10) was the best of the two overseas horses in finishing third with last year's winner Twilight Payment winding up 11th of the 23 runners, almost 20 lengths from the winner.

with AAP

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