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Globetrotting Simenon has each-way claims in Japan Cup

The strong European challenge for this year’s Melbourne Cup may have failed to land the prize but Red Cadeaux (2nd), Mount Athos (3rd), Simenon (4th) and Dandino (5th) all ran with great credit. Simenon is set to challenge for the Japan Cup this weekend and champion jockey Richard Hughes continues his association with the gelding.

At the start of the season, a tilt at the Ascot Gold Cup was the priority for the Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old. He ran a great race that day, eventually failing by just a quarter of a length to peg back Estimate.

That run encouraged Mullins to aim at the Melbourne Cup and he was only three-quarters of a length behind Sea Moon in the Herbert Power Stakes on his Australian debut. As they turned for home in the Cup, Simenon looked to be going as well as anything but he could not quite match the finishing kick of Fiorente.

On the face of it, the mile and a half of the Japan Cup will be on the sharp side for Simenon and the draw has not been particularly kind with stall 14. If he can get a good position early on, he could add to the prize money already accrued in Australia.

British hopes were dealt a blow when Joshua Tree was drawn widest of all in stall 17.  Ed Dunlop’s six-year-old son of Montjeu is fresh from a third success in the Canadian International and is reported to be in rude health by connections.

The European challenge is completed by former Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden, only eighth at Flemington this year. Jamie Spencer has the leg up on the French hope who breaks from stall 10.

The market is dominated by last year’s winner Gentildonna, the mount of Ryan Moore, and Gold Ship. Gentildonna just got the better of Orfevre last year but has been defeated in all three subsequent starts.

The grey Gold Ship won the Japanese 2000 Guineas and St Leger last season and posted another Group 1 success in June. He had Gentildonna over three lengths back in third that day but was slightly disappointing in his comeback race last month.