iskander

Wide draw no barrier to Nom Du Jeu


Jockey Jeff Lloyd believes Nom Du Jeu’s wide barrier in the Caulfield Cup is not as bad as it looks.

The Murray Baker-trained New Zealander drew gate 20 for Saturday’s Group One 2400-metre feature.

Nom Du Jeu Lloyd, a multiple South African premiership winner, steered Nom Du Jeu to a slashing victory in the AJC Australian Derby over Saturday’s distance on a heavy Randwick track in April.

"For a horse like him who overraces and can go a bit hard, it could be a good draw," Lloyd said.

"When he’s stuck in the middle of things he’s inclined to do things too quickly.

"He’s going to get a long way back and we’ll need a bit of luck but the main thing is that he switches off and if he does that he’ll run a big race."

Lloyd will ride Nom Du Jeu in a gallop at Caulfield tomorrow and said the horse had settled in well after some initial concerns.

"He didn’t travel all that well and was on and off his food but he looks good now and it’s just taken him a few days to get right, but he’s right now," Lloyd said.

Nom Du Jeu ran home strongly when third to Cox Plate favourite Princess Coup in the Group One Kelt Capital (2040m) at Hastings last start.

"It was a nice run and he looks spot-on for this race," Lloyd said.

And while Lloyd is drawn out wide, Corey Brown and his mount Red Ruler jump from barrier one.

But Brown has concerns for the New Zealander who rattled home to finish second in the Kelt Capital.

"It’s not great, drawing between four and 10 would have been perfect for my horse but we’re not in the carpark so that’s something," Brown said.

"I’ll definitely be looking to get out on him at the 1000 metres or when we get down the back straight because he seems to a little bit one-paced.

"But I know that if he gets clear running at the 600 metres he’ll tough it out from what I’ve seen of his videos."

TAB Sportsbet has Nom Du Jeu at $21 for the Caulfield Cup while Red Ruler is at $16.

Red Ruler finished second to Nom Du Jeu in the AJC Australian Derby.

By Russell Jackson