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Nom Du Jeu out of Cups

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Last year’s Caulfield Cup 2008 runner-up Nom De Jeu will miss both the Caulfield Cup 2009 and Melbourne Cup 2009 but remains in the Cox Plate 2009 after first declarations for Melbourne’s spring features.

Nom Du Jeu, prepared in New Zealand by Murray Baker and his son Bjorn, has been suffering from bone soreness which prevents him from letting down properly when galloping.

The Melbourne Cup has been reduced from 229 to 141, 26 less than at the same stage for last year’s race.

International numbers were reduced from 38 to 18 on Tuesday, the same as last year at the same stage.

Other notable omissions were early favourite Rebel Raider, winner of last season’s Victoria and SA Derbys, and Empires Choice, the 2007 Queensland Derby winner, both sidelined with leg injuries.

The highest weighted Cup entrant not to be paid up for on Tuesday was the Godolphin-owned Schiaparelli who is expected to run in next month’s Prix De l’Arc De Triomphe at Longchamps, while last-start Group Two winner Doctor Fremantle, prepared by Sir Michael Stoute, also dropped out of Melbourne Cup contention.

The Caulfield Cup field has been reduced from 224 to 120, down 16 on last year at the same stage, but there are six overseas horses still in the race as opposed to three at the same time last year.

The Cox Plate was reduced from 196 at entry time to 100, four less than last year, but four overseas horses remain in the race as opposed to one at the same time last year.

Group One Golden Rose 2009 winner Denman and Theseo were not paid up for in the Cox Plate while Gallica dropped out of the Caulfield Cup.

The Danny O’Brien-trained Vigor is the $6 favourite for the Caulfield Cup with TAB Sportsbet, the Mark Kavanagh-trained Whobegotyou heads Cox Plate markets at $5, while Vigor and the Dermot Weld-trained mare Profound Beauty share top billing in the Melbourne Cup at $11.

Article by Mark Ryan Aapracing

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