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Horse Race That Stops Two Nations, Stops Politicians Too

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

(correcting h1563, spelling of Nom du Jeu)

(Eds: Pix available

By Kevin Norquay of NZPA

Wellington, Nov 4 NZPA - John Key smacked $20 on the nose of Nom du Jeu, Winston Peters opted for Irish luck, and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman went Kiwi Made as politicians traded the election race for a horse race today.

As Australasia stopped for the 3200m Melbourne Cup, the campaigning politicians were no exception -- other than Progressive leader Jim Anderton, who will be on a flight when the gates open.

National Party leader Mr Key placed his Cup bet at the Ruck'n Maul bar in Rotorua -- $20 on Kiwi favourite Nom du Jeu "because I don't believe in coming second".

His suit and tie looked somewhat out of place in a bar crammed with working class punters and beer tasters, but like a good stayer he pressed on.

Fashion clothes horse Mr Peters was more at home at Auckland's Ellerslie racecourse, with Irish stayer Profound Beauty the one to catch his eye for the Cup.

Green Party co-leader Dr Norman was not about to depart from his party's Buy Kiwi Made policy, and so opted for New Zealand born and bred Nom du Jeu.

But if Dr Norman was chuffed his selection was New Zealand made, he would have been disturbed to learn it is under foreign ownership, which is right against Green Party policy.

Prime Minister Helen Clark, who tried to have a dollar each way, was confident of emerging a winner.

"It's very easy to go for the favourite which is not a New Zealand horse, Septimus.

"There is two-time winner of the Auckland Cup which is Prize Lady, so for sentimental reasons you'd need to back Prize Lady, but Nom de Jeu is the best backed Kiwi horse."

Miss Clark has been an Avondale Racing Club member "for many years".

"I've always had strong contacts in the industry and plenty of good advice, and those that go with me to the races know I have almost never gone home worse than I went."

NZPA WGT kn kk nb

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