Irish stayer Simenon will arrive in Australia tomorrow but trainer Willie Mullins has revealed that the seven-year-old is no certainty to run in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Simenon was included in the second acceptances for the Caulfield Cup, which were released by Racing Victoria earlier this week, and was expected to run in the $2.5 million race but Mullins told Sky Racing HQ that he is keeping his options open in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“Nothing is set in concrete,” Mullins said.
“We have a few options before that and I’ll be looking at all the options.
“I would prefer to run in a race earlier than that to give me more time to prepare for Melbourne.
“Usually in Europe we would like a longer time between our races.”
Mullins has not had a runner in the Melbourne Cup since hurdler Holy Orders finished seventeenth behind champion mare Makybe Diva in the 2003 edition of the race and the trainer said that he has been looking for the right horse to bring to Australia for ‘the race that stops a nation’ ever since.
“We had a great time with Holy Orders and I thought to myself if I ever had a horse good enough we would certainly try and get back to the Melbourne Cup,” Mullins said.
“I think he has some speed and he has plenty of stamina.
“Both the races he won in Royal Ascot last year he showed a lot of speed and I think this year he has improved and I am hoping that we can squeeze a bit more improvement out of her on the way to Melbourne.”
Simenon has raced well without winning this season, finishing fourth in the Chester Cup (3755m), second in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4023m) and second in the Londsdale Cup (3299m), and Mullins believes the son of Marju has had plenty of bad luck.
“We trained him for a flat season this year, rather than a jumps season, and I think he has improved,” the Irish trainer said.
“We have had to ride him from the back the last few times because he got a terrible draw in Chester and an awful draw in Ascot.
“Tactically we had to ride him from behind and he did well doing that but he was unlucky coming through with traffic.
“In York we got a very good draw and there was nothing to make the pace so we decided to make the pace with him.
“It is a lonely place York with a big long straight and there was some rain the nice before which did help us and he had to lead a lot of the way.
“It was hard work doing all that but he ran a great race to finish second.”
Mullins is yet to decide on a jockey for Simenon in the Melbourne Cup; with Ryan Moore and Johnny Murtagh as well as a couple of Australian jockeys in the mix to pick up the ride.