Melbourne Cup

Incentivise red hot favourite for Melbourne Cup

The Peter Moody-trained gelding has captured the imagination of the sports-mad country, winning its last nine starts and blitzing the field in last month's 2400-metre Caulfield Cup, a traditional formguide for the Cup.

Incentivise's attraction has been boosted by the lack of international entrants in the world's richest two-mile handicap, with foreign stables shunning the race due to a combination of strict, new veterinary checks and Covid-19 logistical issues.

Twilight Payment and rider Jye McNeil win Melbourne Cup

This year's edition has been dominated by northern hemisphere horses. Second was Tiger Moth, also Irish, and third was Prince of Arran, a British horse.

Another horse, called Anthony Van Dyck, was euthanised after the race having sustained a fetlock fracture.

Bookmakers had labelled this year's Cup field as one of the most open in years. The 3200m race was run in front of stands empty of punters and fans due to Victoria's Covid-19 restrictions.

Foreign horses set to dominate an empty Flemington race course

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the tens of thousands of fans that normally turn up will be forced to watch from elsewhere.

Foreign horses have won eight of the last 10 Melbourne Cups and they again lead the favouritism for the $8.2 million race which starts at 5pm New Zealand time.

There are nine european entrants with Irish pair Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth, who are both trained by Aiden O'Brien, among the leading contenders.

Prince of Arran, Master of Reality and Twilight Payment are the other heavily backed foreign raiders.

NZ jockey bookies' favourite on Cup day

Mr Bartley told Morning Report the 22-year-old McDonald had come a long way, and was the favourite for the $6.4 million race at Flemington which starts at 5pm today (New Zealand time).

The last New Zealand jockey to win was Jimmy Cassidy on Might and Power in 1997.

"[McDonald's] a lovely rider, [he has] a good feel for horses over distance," Mr Bartley.

New Zealand horses and jockeys had underpinned the race for years, with just one Australian horse in this year's race, he said.