Monday 9 December 2019

Simenon given Grimes option

Globe-trotting stayer Simenon could make a surprise first appearance over hurdles for a year and a half at Tipperary on Saturday.

Trainer Willie Mullins decided last season to return the gelding to the Flat after he flopped in a couple of outings in the winter of 2012.

It proved an inspired move, as Simenon went on to finish second to Estimate in the Gold Cup and ran all over the world, including taking fourth place in the Melbourne Cup.

It has not mapped out in quite such successful fashion this term but there were at least some green shoots of recovery when the seven-year-old stayed on for fifth back in the Gold Cup.

There was nonetheless some surprise when his name appeared in the entries for the Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle alongside another of Mullins' star dual purpose performers, Queen Alexandra Stakes winner Pique Sous.

Nick Peacock, who owns Simenon under the Wicklow Bloodstock Limited banner, said: "It's possible he could run, but it will be up to Willie when he's looked at things later in the week.

"There aren't many options for him at the moment, and we could send him over hurdles a couple of times when the ground is good. There are a couple of nice races.

"He is a good hurdler on decent ground, it's just that he isn't in winter ground.

"I'd think he'll go back on the Flat later on, for something like the Doncaster Cup or the Irish Leger."

Peacock revealed a return to Australia was looking unlikely. He said: "We're not thinking about attempting to go back at the moment as I doubt he'd get in off his current rating and it's a long way to go to be asked to leave!"

Peacock's other entry in the Grimes, Vicky De L'Oasis, is more likely to run in Friday's Dermot Casey Tree Care Hurdle at Cork.

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