Incentivise got on the wrong leg but started his spring campaign the right way, living up to all the pre-race hype in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington.

In what was a series of firsts, the boom Queenslander made his debut for his new trainer Peter Moody and jockey Brett Prebble in his first test at the elite level in his first run in Victoria, but none of those factors seemed to matter as he fought off all challengers to record a most-remarkable win.

Moody said he felt the horse won despite some problems.

“It was a very good effort as he didn’t look comfortable at any stage,” Moody said.

“I don’t think he got on his right leg. It will be interesting to have a chat with Brett (Prebble), he certainly didn’t change down in the straight.

“That’s about as fast as he goes, but we know he can go like that for at least a mile-and-a-half (2400m).”

Incentivise now dominates the market for the $5m Caulfield Cup on October 16. Sportsbet wound his price in to $4.60 from $7 after the victory, with import Spanish Mission next in betting at $15.

Incentivise is also in to $8.50 favourite for the Melbourne Cup ahead of the same overseas raider at $11.

Moody said he figured the horse will race in next month’s G1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington before the Caulfield Cup two weeks later.

“There is nice improvement to come,” he said. “It probably wasn’t the way we intended to go about it, but I just left that totally up to Brett (Prebble).

“As we’ve seen, the further he gets into a race, he builds nicely. Even though they got to him, you knew he was going to keep going.

“It was very encouraging at this stage of the spring, we’ve only got one more run between now and the (Caulfield) Cup, which will probably be the Turnbull (Stakes). It’s time to build on it and hopefully we can get him on his Melbourne leg at some stage.

“He is a very good horse. I am yet to see him have a blow, so he’s obviously got a great set of lungs on him, so upwards and onwards.

“When he gets to a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) and he is allowed to build and roll and has a bunny instead of being the bunny, I think you are going to see a pretty exciting stayer.”

After starting the $3.90 favourite, Incentivise held a neck advantage on the line over Mo’unga ($4.40), with a short half head to Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet ($31) running a great fresh race for third.

For Moody, it was his first G1 win since his return to the training ranks, with his previous elite-level win coming when Flamberge claimed the William Reid Stakes in March 2016.

The win continued the remarkable return to the spotlight of Prebble, who now leads the Victorian jockeys’ premiership after securing the season’s G1 event following his success in last month’s Memsie Stakes aboard Behemoth.

“I thought he had a nice enough time in front and he got his action good and got on his right leg and it was game over,” Prebble said.

“Once he got on his right leg, which he was at Cranbourne (trial), I was never really doubtful, but it is different under race speed and pressure, but today he was really balanced and really relaxed, which is a bonus.

“He floats along and you can feel he’s not aggressive. I tried to give him as soft a run as I could just because I thought there is a long way to go.

“They came at him, I let them get up and about him and I asked him for an effort and he dug deep to the line.

“If I had asked him from the top of the straight I reckon he would have opened up and given them something to chase, but I wanted to give him an easy time, first-up at the mile, and we got away with it.”

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