Godolphin's Ahzeemah got the better of Simenon in a thrilling climax to the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup at York. - and could be Melbourne Cup bound. The Willie Mullins-trained Simenon was the 15-8 favourite after running Estimate close in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and dictated matters from the outset under a positive ride from Johnny Murtagh.

Brought across to the stands side, the six-year-old appeared to be going better than ever at the top of the long home straight, but the challengers would not go away. Ahzeemah (4-1) and Silvestre de Sousa emerged as the biggest threat and after a protracted duel and plenty of scrimmaging, Saeed bin Suroor's runner won the argument by a head.

It was a deserved victory for Ahzeemah, who had filled the runner-up spot on his last three starts, and he was initiating a treble for Godolphin. Racing manager Simon Crisford said: "He's so honest and incredibly genuine. He's a great testament to Dubawi, who is an extraordinary stallion. He produces horses of Classic material over all sorts of distances.

"He's not overly big, but I've never known a horse try as hard as this horse does. Hopefully the Melbourne Cup (could be an option), or the Qipco stayers' race on Champions Day at Ascot (British Champions Long Distance Cup, October 19)."

Bin Suroor added: "I knew in the last two furlongs he was going to win. We'll keep our options about Melbourne and we'll see how he is. He seems to go on any ground and the race I'm looking at is at Ascot on Champions Day." De Sousa said: "I didn't want to hit the front too soon on him. He's tough and genuine but if you stopped pushing him he'd probably finish tailed off."

Victory would have guaranteed Simenon a place in the field for the Melbourne Cup and Mullins can now only hope his charge has done enough to make the line-up. He said: "I was pleased with the run as he had to do the donkey work. Having made his own running it was an excellent run. We knew before the race he might have to make it if nothing else went on. He really likes coming between horses.

"He's entered in the Prix du Cadran at Longchamp (October 6) and all those sorts of races, but if we think we'll get in it is still my intention to head south (to Australia)."