Simenon Impresses on Aussie Debut

The classy Willie Mullins-trained stayer, Simenon, posted a rock solid first effort 'Down Under' ahead of his bid for the Emirates Melbourne Cup next month, running a fine third to leading Cup fancy Sea Moon in the Group 2 Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield on October 12.

Having his first outing since his marathon journey from Ireland, the gelded son of Marju was entitled to be in need of the run and still be taking time to acclimatize.

However, he showed no signs of fatigue as he failed by just three-quarters-of-a-length and a short-head to get the better of the favourite in the racing betting, Sea Moon, and another smart local stayer Oasis Bloom, in a race that could prove a key trial for the big event in a few weeks' time.

Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Simenon -last seen in action at York in August when losing out by just a head to Godolphin's classy Ahzeemah in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup - was posted towards the rear of the nine-runner field for the mile-and-a-half contest.

Nevertheless, he came home with a wet sail over a trip some way short of his best to give the impression there could be plenty more to come at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.

Simenon is now a top-priced 21.0 chance with racing live betting outlets to land the Melbourne Cup and follow in the hoofprints of previous Irish winners, Vintage Crop and Media Puzzle, both of whom were trained by Dermot Weld.

Mullins's biggest concern now is whether his charge will make the cut and get into the starting line-up. The champion Irish jumps trainer told reporters, "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."