Simenon is on course to become just the eighth Irish-trained horse ever to run in the great race in Tokyo this Sunday. Connections of Simenon believe he has improved for his excellent run in the Melbourne Cup ahead of the Japan Cup this weekend and has a real chance. After finishing a close-up third on his Australian debut in the Herbert Power Stakes, Simenon then ran a hugely creditable fourth in the Melbourne Cup in the hands of champion jockey Richard Hughes.
After his honourable fourth in the Melbourne Cup at the start of the month, Simenon arrived in Tokyo from Australia six days ago as part of a three-pronged European raid on the €4.1 million highlight that also includes Dunaden and Joshua Tree.
Richard Hughes is scheduled to again take the ride on the Willie Mullins-trained star who warmed up for the Melbourne Cup with a run over a mile and a half at Caulfield last month in which he finished third.
That had been his first attempt at the trip in almost three years and he faces a major task against a strong home team that could include the highly rated Gold Ship.
Trainer Willie Mullins has already enjoyed notable success in Japan this calendar year with Blackstairmountain and connections are pleased with the preparations of their six year old ahead of his latest task.
Emmet Mullins is delighted with the six-year-old gelding's progress since he arrived in Tokyo.
"Things have been going great," Mullins told At The Races.
"He surprised us every step of the way how he travelled (in the Melbourne Cup) – it was almost unbelievable.
"He has never flown before so that was always a worry – he can be a bit skittish – but he's handled it all brilliantly.
"We try and keep our routine as similar as possible as at home.
"I've been riding him all the way through and we thought he'd improved coming up to the Melbourne Cup. He's done the same here again.
"Everyone seems to be happy with him. It's a good climb the whole way to the final furlong and hopefully the race will pan out nicely for him."