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Twilight top-weight in Melbourne Cup as Incentivise allotted 55.5kg

4 min read

Written by Bren O'Brien

Twilight Payment (Teofilo {Ire}) will have to carry 58kg if he is to defend the G1 Melbourne Cup he won in 2020, with the Joseph O'Brien-trained 9-year-old given equal top weight in the $7.5 million race, while leading chance Incentivise (Shamus Award) has been given 55.5kg.

Twilight Payment, who must carry 2.5kg more than last year, was given the top weight alongside of the horse that beat him in last Sunday's G1 Irish St Leger, Sonnyboyliston (Ire) (Power {GB}), but that stayer has been confirmed as not coming to Australia for the spring.

Sir Dragonet (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), the winner of last year's G1 Cox Plate and third behind Incentivise in last Saturday's G1 Makybe Diva S., has been awarded 57.5kg, 2kg more than when he ran sixth in the race in 2020.

His new stablemate with Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Gold Trip (Fr) (Outstrip {GB}), has been given 57kg, the same weight as the Andrew Balding-trained Spanish Mission (USA) (Noble Mission {USA}) and last year's G1 Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}), who was seventh when allotted 55.5kg in the 2020 Melbourne Cup.

Incentivise, the rising star of Australian turf, has won seven of his 10 starts and claimed his first Group 1 race last weekend for Peter Moody. He has certainly not been missed by handicapper Greg Carpenter, with 55.5kgs in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. He remains a clear favourite for both races.

"Incentivise is one of the most exciting horses to burst onto the scene in recent times and also one of the most challenging to assess after his performances in Queensland over their winter carnival, which culminated in a 12-l romp in the G3 Tattersall’s Cup," Carpenter said.

“He beat some quality opposition in the Makybe Diva S., with Group 1 winners filling the next four places, and only time will tell whether we have been too harsh or too kind in allocating him 55.5kg in both Cups."

"Only time will tell whether we have been too harsh or too kind in allocating him (Incentivise) 55.5kg in both Cups." - Greg Carpenter

Meanwhile, Carpenter said Twilight Payment was deserving of his spot at the top of the weights.

“As always there is plenty of debate over the weights scale for the Cups which will no doubt continue over the coming weeks, but after his all-the-way win in last year’s Melbourne Cup there is little doubt that Twilight Payment deserves to be at the top of the weights for the 2021 edition of Australia’s greatest race,” said Carpenter.

“In his fascinating duel with Twilight Payment in the Irish St Leger in the early hours of Monday morning, Sonnyboyliston again showed that he is a rapidly progressing stayer having won what is considered Europe’s biggest staying handicap on his previous start, and so he is worthy of carrying the joint topweight of 58kg.

“Neither horse holds an entry for the Caulfield Cup and so the topweight of 58kg for Caulfield’s showpiece occasion has been allocated to Sir Dragonet." - Greg Carpenter

“Neither horse holds an entry for the Caulfield Cup and so the topweight of 58kg for Caulfield’s showpiece occasion has been allocated to Sir Dragonet, who was such a dominant winner of the 2020 Cox Plate and showed he will again be a force this spring with his fast-finishing third in the Makybe Diva S."

Other notable decisions see triple Derby winner Explosive Jack (NZ) (Jakkalberry {Ire}) given 54kg in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups while Denis Pagan’s G1 Victoria Derby hero Johnny Get Angry (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}), has been assigned 53kg, the same weight handed to Chris Waller’s G1 Queensland Derby victor Kukeracha (NZ) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}).

G1 Queensland Oaks winner Duais (Shamus Award) has been allocated 51kg in both Cups, representing trainer Edward Cummings, whose grandfather Bart became synonymous with the Melbourne Cup courtesy of his 12 wins.

Edward’s brother, James Cummings, has Colette (Hallowed Crown) in both Cups, as she has been given 53.5kg.

“With today’s release of weights for the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup, connections can now start plotting a path towards their respective targets whilst form analysts and punters can keep an even closer eye on how their fancied runners fare as they build towards securing a start in two of Australia’s marquee races,” Carpenter said.

Melbourne Cup
Caulfield Cup
Twilight Payment
Incentivise
Greg Carpenter