Last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Incentivise has now been ruled out of the Spring Carnival.
The Peter Moody-trained gelding had been the long-term favourite for both the Melbourne Cup and the Cox Plate however the star galloper needs more time.
We also learn that the Freedman yard has decided to hold back their Melbourne Cup hopeful Realm Of Flowers for a few more weeks before beginning their campaign.
Moody Team Taking Cautious Approach
Incentivise’s rise was meteoric on the way to last year’s Melbourne Cup. The gelding went from running maidens in Toowoomba to going off favourite for the big one. We haven’t seen the star since he was runner-up in last year’s Cup as he was injured in the process.
His trainer Peter Moody revealed that the five-year-old would now miss the carnival and won’t be able to aim for a second Caulfield Cup.
While his recovery continues, the Moody team is remaining cautious. Having gone through various veterinary checks for months, his mental well-being is now the concern.
Incentivise’s ownership team reports that the horse is actually scanning perfectly well. His x-rays have been solid and physically, he’s ready to return.
The horse has been back working for more than two weeks already in fact, though the team feels that he has the look of a mentally tired horse after all of his medical checks and so caution is now being advised.
The move is also a blow to the carnival organisers. Verry Elleegant, who beat Incentivise in last year’s Cup, has gone off to France. The loss of the 1-2 from 2021 leaves a couple of large holes, though Incentivise could return in the autumn in Sydney.
Comeback Horse Realm Of Flowers to Wait for Return
The Melbourne Cup remains the main focus for Realm Of Flowers this year. Her return to the track has been delayed by Anthony and Sam Freedman, but she remains on course.
Realm Of Flowers had been entered for her first outing since last spring, though she now won’t take up her engagement on Saturday at Flemington.
The hope is that taking their time and delaying her return won’t affect her chances in the Cup. The team believes that the programme still suits her and it makes sense to wait a while longer.
The mare had a trial a week or so ago and has been working all the while. That means that, despite not being seen on the track, she’s been kept busy. With that in mind, spacing out her work and her racing is a wise move.
Realm Of Flowers took Andrew Ramsden easily last year. Injury ruined her chances last year, but she remains one to watch. She does as well at home as on the track, but we still need to see a couple of strong performances heading towards November.
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