Letham Thoroughbreds will stand Mettre En Jeu as its foundation sire at Wanganui this year.
Mettre En Jeu (Montjeu – Delgative Queen by Spectacular Love) won three of his nine starts and was runner-up in the G1 New Zealand Derby and G2 Great Northern Guineas. He was also third home in the G3 Waikato Guineas.
Mettre En Jeu is a half-brother to GI NZ Thoroughbred Stakes winner Saint Cecile and is closely related to former champion NZ 2yo Pompeii Pearl who won the GI Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.
“He’s one of the closest-looking horses to Montjeu I’ve ever seen.” studmaster Nigel Auret said. “And there’s a huge amount of sprinting blood on his female side.”
A six-time GI winner by Sadler’s Wells, Montjeu has sired 61 stakes winners headed by the European GI winners Hurricane Run, Scorpion, Authorized and Motivator. His leading NZ bred gallopers include Derby winners Nom Du Jeu and Roman Emperor and Avondale Gold Cup winner Sharvasti.
Mettre En Jeu was sent to Lee Freedman’s Victorian stable after his close second to Redoute’s Dancer in the 2007 NZ Derby at Ellerslie, but he was floored with a lung infection. “He was given a spell and was then sent to Paddy Payne,” Auret said. “He won a sprint race but failed to fully recover and was retired.”
“He’s a magnificent animal and a lovely horse with a wonderful temperament,” said Auret. “And at $3000 (+ gst), we believe we’ve got him at a fee that will be very tempting.”