Irish stayer Simenon has booked his ticket for the Melbourne Cup after finishing a close second to Estimate in the Group 1 £350,000 The Gold Cup (2 mile 4 furlong) at Royal Ascot overnight.
Simenon ran Estimate, who is owned by The Queen, to a neck and trainer Willie Mullins immediately pencilled in another trip to Australia for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“The plan this year had been to take him to the Melbourne Cup and I always said that if I had a horse good enough to run there, then I would love to go back,” Mullins said.
Mullins was enthused with the run of his six year old and hopes he has better luck than his last trip to Melbourne with Holy Orders who finished well down the track when seventeenth in the first of Makybe Diva’s three Melbourne Cup victories in 2003.
“We had a runner there a few years ago but he had a few of his own ideas about how he should train,” Mullins said.
“This horse loves these staying races and I think the Melbourne Cup would suit him really well,” he added.
“I think the Melbourne Cup is the best race in the world, and it is the world’s best party, so that is where we will be heading.
“The plan is to keep the horse sound between now and then, and if we do go then I would like to get him out there early and give him a prep run somewhere beforehand.”
For once Mullins didn’t mind being in the runner-up stall after being beaten by Her Majesty The Queen, who became the first reigning monarch to win The Gold Cup as Royal Ascot..
“Our horse ran well above his form – a career best for him I am sure,” Mullins said.
“It was the perfect race to be in and it is special to be involved in a win for The Queen. This is a great day for racing.”
Simenon is a $26 chance in early Melbourne Cup markets which sees Victorian trained Puissance De Lune the early $7 favourite.