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Nom Du Jeu May Target Gr1 Cox Plate As Stallion Boost
Queensland-based owner-breeder Billie Morton's Gr1-winning 4YO entire & highly regarded Gr1 Melbourne Cup aspirant Nom Du Jeu (Montjeu-Prized Gem, by Prized) is now 2nd-fravouirite for NZ's Gr1 Stoney Bridge Stakes (1600m on September 20) & joint-favourite for NZ's Gr1 Kelt Capital Stakes (2040m on October 4) after began his 2008 spring campaign with a weekend victory 1st-up from a spell over 1400m at Te Rapa in Hamilton for trainers Murray & Bjorn Baker. Nom Du Jeu highlighted his 3YO campaign with victory in April's Gr1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney & now has 5 wins (also including NZ's Gr3 Waikato Guineas over 2000m at Te Rapa) & 4 placings (including May's Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes against older rivals over 2000m at Randwick) from 13 starts. However trainer Murray Baker told NZ Thoroughbred Marketing he has received significant interest from studs about Nom Du Jeu as a stallion prospect, noting: "We've had interest from NZ & abroad. I think they're starting to wake up to his speed. He won his only 2YO race & is built like a real athlete." And Baker (who revealed he considers Nom Du Jeu's best distance is 2400m) added: "He's nominated for both the Caulfield (2400m) & Melbourne (3200m) Cups, but the Cox Plate (2040m) is a race we have to be thinking about given his future as a stallion."