Trainer Willie Mullins has revealed that he is hoping to bring Irish stayer Simenon back to Australia for a second tilt at the 2015 Melbourne Cup at Flemington in November.
Simenon finished a gallant fourth behind Fiorente in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and he was sent to return for another crack at the race in 2014, but he was ruled out of the trip due to an injury.
The Marju gelding returned to racing with a fifth place finish behind Vent De Force in the Group 3 Henry II Stakes (3290m) and Mullins told RSN this morning that the eight-year-old will likely be set for the Melbourne Cup if he runs well in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4000m) at Royal Ascot next weekend.
“If we have anything to do with it you will, but a lot will depend on how he runs in Ascot,” Mullins said.
“If he runs well there and has another run I am sure that we would love to come back.
“We had a great time there.”
Simenon was not overly impressive first-up in the Henry II Stakes, but Mullins said that the stayer has taken plenty of benefit out of the run and remains on track to contest the Gold Cup for the third year in a row after finishing second behind Estimate in 2013 and fifth behind Leading Light last year.
Mullins is happy with the condition of Simenon heading into the Group 1 event and he said he plans to give the veteran one more serious piece of trackwork before the Group 1 event.
“He is in good form,” Mullins said.
“He will probably do his final bit of work tomorrow and then we will ship him across.
“We think that he is in good order, he had a good run in England two weeks ago and that should have him right for the big day.
“As long as he works well tomorrow we are happy to send him across.
“He is clean winded, he doesn’t need a lot of work and we just let him have a run to shake the cobwebs out of his system because it would have been very hard to head across to England and run in a staying race without a prep run.”
Simenon is currently available at 2015 Ascot Gold Cup odds of $20 with Ladbrokes, while Forgotten Rules ($3) is a clear favourite from Mizzou ($6) and Brown Panther ($8).