Willie Mullins’s progressive stayer Simenon is set to take a big leap up in class when he lines up in the Goodwood Cup at Glorious Goodwood on Thursday afternoon.
Having landed two races in a week at Royal Ascot the ex Andrew Balding trained gelding looks to land his first group race and his trainer is confident of a bold showing when he takes on the likes of Saddlers Rock and Opinion Poll.
“”We worried about bringing him over to Ascot because when we brought him to Cheltenham earlier in the year, we thought he would go very close in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but he finished last,” said Mullins.
“I put that down to the travel and things not going his way over there because we would bring a huge team to Cheltenham and it’s very hard to mind every horse how you would want to.
“We changed a few things at Ascot and just sent over with him a driver and Jack, the lad who rides him every day at home. Jack just minded him like a baby which made a huge difference.
“It was lovely to win on the first day as we were hoping and then after having a word with Ryan Moore, we decided we would wait at Ascot until Saturday for the Queen Alexandra, which worked out.
“The race on the Saturday was probably run to suit as there was a lot more pace, but I was still amazed with the ease he won with. After that we were looking for another race and, after chatting to Ryan (Moore), he said the Goodwood Cup might be the race.
“Simenon’s Ascot form got a bit of a boost at the weekend as the horse that was second (Shahwardi) finished placed in a Group Two at Longchamp. I’m not too worried about the ground, I am more worried about the fact we have to improve 10lb or 12lb. However, I’m hoping that he can be competitive.
“Ryan was very keen that we bring the horse over and that says a lot to me.”