Big-priced Simenon can go one better in Ascot Gold Cup

Adam Courtney
Mullins' charge will love trip

Far better known for training big winners at Cheltenham and Punchestown, the awesome Willie Mullins stable has also got a top-drawer stayer on the Flat in Simenon, a horse we reckon is a good bet to go one better than last year in the Ascot Gold Cup next month.

Finding horses with bags of stamina as well as a sharp turn of foot doesn’t happen often, and since Simenon’s two Royal Ascot victories in 2012 when he won the Ascot Stakes and Queen Alexandra in the space of 4 days, the horse has continued to progress. In fact he’s run some absolute crackers, looking not far off top class when he gets his conditions over a marathon trip. An unlucky 4th in a Chester Cup, 2nd in an Ascot Gold Cup, placed in two Group 2s and a close up 4th in a Melbourne Cup is testament to that.

The trouble is, he now hasn’t won a race of any description for nearly 2 years.

Simenon is a horse that needs a trip, with even 2 miles too short unless it’s a breakneck gallop with a decent sized field, and there aren’t many races of that nature around for a horse rated over 110.

Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins has been racing him over shorter trips this winter and he’s been following the money lately in Australia, Japan, Dubai and Hong Kong, surely knowing that his horse is far more suited by a sterner test. Since his gallant 4th in the Melbourne Cup his record just doesn’t paint a fair picture, although that’s not to say he’s run badly. He finished 13/17 in the Japan Cup but was only beaten 3 ½ lengths, and then ran well in 5th in the Hong Kong Vase to pick up his share of the prize money.

Two underwhelming efforts in Dubai followed, when the races just didn’t suit his style, and he looked a bit weary in his latest poor effort at Ascot, but soft ground won’t have helped that day.

Simenon doesn't appear to be on the downgrade and has already proved 2m 4f test of the Ascot Gold Cup is right up his street. No Group 1s are easy, and especially not for a horse on a 15 race losing streak, but at the current double figure odds it’s worth assuming that Willie Mullins will have him turning up on race day in good form.

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