Simenon: could have a prep run in the Herbert Power StakesPICTURE: Getty Images
Simenon can get better before Cup says Mullins
WILLIE MULLINS believes he can tease out further improvement from Simenon before the six-year-old lines up in the Emirates Melbourne Cup on November 5.
Owned by Nick Peacock, Simenon chased home Estimate in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in the summer before being caught in the closing stages of the Lonsdale Cup at York on his last outing before heading to Australia.
However, Mullins feels there is more to come from his Melbourne contender and said: "This year he has improved and I'm hoping he might get a little more improvement out of him on the way down to Melbourne.
"He was not trained for the jumps season this time around unlike last year so I think we can get some improvement out of him when he gets to Australia."
Mullins has been to Melbourne before with Holy Orders, who finished 17th behind Makybe Diva in 2003, and feels that Simenon, who has been allotted 8st 6lb for the Melbourne Cup, has the ideal combination of speed and stamina to succeed at Flemington.
Willie Mullins: yet to formalise who will be riding Simenon in AustraliaPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
"I think he has some speed and plenty of stamina," Mullins told Sky Racing Radio. "Both races he won in Royal Ascot last year [the Ascot Stakes and Queen Alexandra Stakes] he showed a lot of speed."
Simenon is likely to be given a prep race for the Melbourne Cup, for which he is a general 16-1 chance although bet365 have him at 33-1, but Mullins is undecided where that will be and who will ride.
"Nothing is set in concrete," the trainer said. "We have a few options before the Melbourne Cup. I'd probably prefer a race a little earlier than the Caulfield Cup [on October 19] to give him more time for Melbourne. Something like the Herbert Power [on October 12] would be an option."
He added: "We're keeping all options open with jockeys. We have been lucky with Ryan Moore and Johnny Murtagh riding him and a couple of the Irish jockeys that have ridden him are looking to ride plus we've had some enquiries from Australia. I'm not too worried about jockeys."