Lloyd confident in Nom Du Jeu
Jockey Jeff Lloyd is confident Nom Du Jeu is geared to evade trouble should he find himself in a tight situation from gate one in today’s Melbourne Cup.
With 22 runners on his outside and all angling for a position as close to the fence as possible, crowding is inevitable in the charge up the straight the first time.
But Lloyd said Nom Du Jeu had quick reflexes and he was sure that the AJC Australian Derby winner, who ran a slashing second to All The Good in the Caulfield Cup, would adapt.
"He is a horse who reacts to you very quickly whereas a lot of stayers do not," Lloyd said.
"You can do anything with him during a race."
He said Nom Du Jeu could over-race if over exposed in the field but he should get good cover from the inside draw.
"From a bad (wide) barrier you find yourself riding quite far back just to be safe but I am confident riding him from any draw.
"He is a horse with a great turn of foot and normally gets on terms with them when you need it.
"From a good barrier it will be a lot easier."
The 1990 winner Kingston Rule was the last horse to win the Cup from barrier one.
Nom Du Jour has been the most popular of the non-European horses with TAB Sportsbet and today firmed with the betting agency from $9 to $8.50. He was $9 at the Call of the Card.
Caulfield Cup fourth placegetter Mad Rush remained $5 favourite ahead of Septimus ($6).
Lloyd has already walked the Melbourne Cup course twice as part of his preparation for his first ride in the race.
He said Nom Du Jeu’s Caulfield Cup run gave him a lot of confidence the four-year-old would get the job done tomorrow.
"Everyone wants their horses to perform well on that day (in the Caulfield Cup)," Lloyd said.
"I think he did himself proud and he came out of the race in good order which is important."
Lloyd said Mad Rush’s run in the Caulfield Cup was on a par with Nom Du Jeu’s effort and he rates him as the horse to beat.
"He impressed the way he got to the line and he is a horse to keep an eye on," Lloyd said.
By Robert Windmill