| 9.9°C Dublin

Simenon to relish step up in trip on Dubai return


Simenon and Emmet Mullins.

Simenon and Emmet Mullins.

Simenon and Emmet Mullins.

MICHAEL HALFORD and David Marnane have enjoyed notable success already at Meydan this year and tomorrow evening the champion jumps trainer Willie Mullin turns his attention to the action in Dubai where Simenon will have his first start of the year.

The seven-year-old has not been seen since putting in a bold show in the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin where he finished fifth under Ryan Moore and Moore will be onboard again as he faces 12 runners in the Group Three Nad Al Sheba Trophy.

Simenon enjoyed a decent year last year when he was second in the Ascot Gold Cup and in the Lonsdale Cup before heading to Australia for a tilt at the Melbourne Cup.

Tomorrow's race will act as a trial for bigger and better things on World Cup night at Dubai and Simenon, who is top-rated in tomorrow's feature, should relish the step back up in trip to 1m6f as he takes on the John Oxx-trained Saddler's Rock and Michael Halford's Certerach, who won here on his penultimate outing.

Saddler's Rock is drawn well in stall five with Declan McDonogh retaining the ride on the six-year-old, who was third in the Irish St Leger at the Curragh last September before finishing fifth behind Royal Diamond on Champions Day at Ascot.


Certerach won his first start at Meydan back in January and lost little in defeat when finishing third a couple of weeks later and although this represents a step up in class, he did run a blinder to finish second in this very race last year when only going down by a quarter of length to Ahzeemah.

Halford also runs Regulation in the concluding race tomorrow evening, which is as 1m2f handicap worth over €70,000 to the winner Halford will be hoping that the five-year-old can build on a pleasing run last time when he was fourth and only beaten two-lengths.

Other Irish representation on the card comes from the Tracey Collins -rained Captain Joy who ran well on his first run here in January but failed to land a blow next time and will be again ridden by Gary Carroll.