Simenon (left) finishes third behind Sea Moon (second left) at CaulfieldPICTURE: Getty Images
Simenon cut for Cup after Caulfield third
Report: Australia, Saturday
Caulfield: Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes (Group 2) 1m4f, 3yo+
TOP Irish stayer Simenon was cut to 16-1 (from 25) by Paddy Power for next month's Emirates Melbourne Cup after posting a solid prep run when finishing a close-up third behind the former Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sea Moon on his Australian debut at Caulfield.
Runner-up in both the Ascot Gold Cup and Lonsdale Cup at York this summer, Simenon was shuttled out to Australia last month in an attempt to secure his place in the Flemington showpiece.
Although the six-year-old missed out on victory in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes, trainer Willie Mullins was still thrilled with the performance as Simenon missed out on second by a short head to Oasis Bloom, with Sea Moon a further three-quarters of a length in front.
"I’m very pleased with him," he said. "He broke well enough but had a bit of trouble passing the winning post and had to challenge wide. It was a good prep run and I thought he finished nicely as well."
Mullins now faces an anxious wait to see if Simenon makes the cut for the Melbourne Cup. "He took his quarantine very well and the timing of today's race suited," he added.
"Of course we have to get into the big race but a lot depended on how he travelled over and took his quarantine. I’m certainly looking forward to the big race and the extra half-mile."
Paddy Power also shortened Sea Moon to the same price in their Melbourne Cup market, going 16-1 (from 33).
Connections of the 2012 Royal Ascot winner, who is now in the care of trainer Robert Hickmott, will make a decision in the next 24 hours as to whether he joins stablemate and last year's Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon in next week's Caulfield Cup.
Also on Saturday (reports courtesy of AAP Racing)
Caulfield: Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f, 3yo+
SHE has four Group 1 races among her ten victories and she's probably among the top few horses in Australia. Her trainer Mark Kavanagh has only one wish remaining for Atlantic Jewel - he wants her to prove she's a champion by winning the Cox Plate. And along with the majority of punters, he is confident she will.
Atlantic Jewel won the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes the way she should have, by four lengths and with plenty in hand.
"I'm quite happy with where she is," Kavanagh said. "This should tune her right up. We had a little bit left but she should be spot on for the Cox Plate."
Atlantic Jewel came into Saturday's race off the back of her only defeat in 11 starts with the only doubt being her ability to run a strong 2000m. But she put that query to rest with total authority.
"We just had to make sure she ran out the 2,000m strong," said jockey Michael Rodd.
Caulfield: BECK Caulfield Guineas (Group 1) 1m, 3yo
ONE of the world's most powerful stables collected a rare and coveted Group 1 double on Saturday when Long John won the Caulfield Guineas in Melbourne and Complacent claimed the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.
For trainer Peter Snowden the wins ranked among his finest achievement - but he refused to accept more than 50 per cent of the credit.
Snowden, who was at Caulfield to see Long John triumph in a 300m slog to the line in the Guineas, said all praise belonged to his son Paul who manages the Melbourne "branch" of owner Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's worldwide Darley racing operation.
"I've only seen him gallop twice in his life," Snowden said. "All credit goes to Paul."
Long John, the $3.80 favourite, rewarded a perfect Kerrin McEvoy ride with a hard-fought half length win over Divine Calling ($13).
Shamus Award ($21) came from last at the 400m to take third place, a further two lengths away.
Caulfield: David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (Group 1) 1m, 3yo+
QUEENSLAND star Solzhenitsyn confirmed his rating as one the best milers in the country at Caulfield on Saturday as he became the fifth horse in 133 years to claim successive Group 1 Toorak Handicaps.
The Robert Heathcote-trained seven-year-old, the $6 favourite, was aided by a "gem of a ride" from Nash Rawiller as he powered to a one and a quarter length win over fast-finishing French horse Trevieres ($12) with another length to Blackie ($21) third.
Solzhenitsyn carried 52kg to win the 1600m handicap last year but had to lump topweight of 58kg this time.
Heathcote said: "He ticked most of the boxes today. I guess the one thing that wasn't ticked was the ride, and didn't Nash produce a gem of a ride."