Peter Moody’s new superstar galloper Incentivise looks set to start the Melbourne Cup as the shortest priced favourite since the legend Phar Lap in 1930.
Phar Lap – Australia’s most famous racehorse – paid only $1.73 when he won the race that stops a nation 91 years ago. Phar Lap was the $2 favourite when he ran third in 1929, and the $4 favourite when he ran eighth in 1931.
Since then, a number of favourites have jumped paying $2.75 in the Melbourne Cup – Beau Vite in 1940 (ran 4th), Howe in 1948 (ran 5th), Redcraze in 1956 (ran 2nd), and Gay Icarus in 1971 (ran 9th).
So You Think was the shortest favourite of the modern era when it paid $3 and finished third in the 2010 edition.
Now, it seems certain Incentivise will be paying anywhere from $2.40 to $2.75 by the time Australia stops to tune in at 3pm today.
Bet365 bookmaker Steve Boukaram explained to Wide World of Sports why Incentivise deserves to be the shortest favourite since Phar Lap… and why he will be putting his money elsewhere.
“We’re talking about a horse that it was only earlier this year it won its maiden. But I don’t think the fact it’s a lightly-raced horse is an issue,” he said.
“If you look back at 2019, Vow And Declare won and it was only its 13th start, 2018 Cross Counter won the Cup at his eighth start. (Incentivise) has probably got the right sort of form for a lightly-raced horse as well.
“You saw what (Incentivise) did in the Caulfield Cup. Once it got in it just demolished them at the end. From what we’ve seen it looks a bullet-proof horse. It sits on the speed, it handles pressure, and it’s such a strong horse. Is the 3200m a query? Yes, but it’s probably a query for the majority of the field.
“Could I come into Incentivise at those odds? Not for me. But you can see why it’s such a short price.”
Boukaram revealed while Incentivise will hold most of the money coming in from punters pre-race, there’s plenty of value to be found elsewhere in the field.
“There’s been some roughies that have been really well backed as well. Delphi has been really well supported,” he said.
“It’s come in from $41 to $21 since (Sunday). He’s been really well supported at the odds.
“Floating Artist, Great House, Sir Lucan… these lighter weighted runners have had some really good support.”