Simenon run pleases Mullins
Willie Mullins declared himself "very pleased" with Simenon after finishing third on his Australian debut at Caulfield.
Runner-up to Estimate in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot before being narrowly denied in the Lonsdale Cup at York in August, the six-year-old last month made the journey to Australia in the hope of getting a run in the Melbourne Cup.
As he is not guaranteed a starting berth at Flemington on November 5, Simenon lined up in the Herbert Power Stakes over a mile and half in the hope of getting the penalty which would likely get him into the race.
Partnered by Kerrin McEvoy, a jockey who enjoyed a successful stint in Europe riding for Godolphin before returning to his homeland, Simenon travelled powerfully throughout, but had to be delivered wide at the top of the home straight after suffering interference.
The Irish raider stuck to his guns admirably to finish on the heels of the winner Sea Moon, formerly trained in Britain by Sir Michael Stoute, with Oasis Bloom splitting the pair in second.
Mullins now faces an anxious wait to find out whether Simenon will make the cut for the 'race that stops a nation' in Melbourne.
"I'm very pleased. He got into a bit of trouble passing the winning post first time when the horse in front of him lost his footing, which I thought left him a couple of lengths out of position," the trainer said.
"He did well to get back into the race from there and had to make his challenge wide.
"Given everything, I thought it was a very good prep run."
Mullins said running Simenon again in next week's Caulfield Cup is "not in his thoughts" and is in no rush to decide who will ride the gelding if he does get a run at Flemington next month.
"We just have to hope now he gets into the Melbourne Cup and I haven't made any jockey plans. We'll see nearer the time," said the Closutton-based handler.
The Robert Hickmott-trained Sea Moon, who won last year's Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot before finishing fifth behind Danedream in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, could turn out quickly for next weekend's Caulfield Cup.
If he does, he will be running for the third week in a row, having passed the post first in last weekend's Bart Cummings Stakes at Flemington before losing the race on protest.
Part-owner Nick Williams told www.horseracing.com.au: "We thought that last week was a little inconclusive and we really want to find out about this horse.
"I think that he has done a good job today and we will make a decision in the next 24 hours whether we will pay up for him next Tuesday and he can run next Saturday. It is a very clear possibility.
"The horse has shown that he has stepped-up from last week and we will make a decision whether we run him next Saturday or save him for another race en-route to the Melbourne Cup."