Simenon booked his ticket to the 2013 Emirates Melbourne Cup with a gutsy effort behind The Queen’s Estimate in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot overnight.

Trainer Willie Mullins travelled Holy Orders to Flemington 10 years ago on a fruitless mission, but the multiple champion Irish National Hunt trainer is keen to return to Australia and capture one of the world’s most prestigious flat races.

Simenon had been a decent horse in his younger days for Andrew Balding but the six-year-old has blossomed in Mullins’ County Carlow base in Ireland and scored twice at the Royal meeting last year when winning the Ascot Stakes and the Queen Alexandra.

Johnny Murtagh’s mount advertised his Gold Cup credentials when flashing home from an unfavourable draw in the Chester Cup last month and put in the effort of his life in the 4000-metre feature on day three of the meeting.

Simenon was only beaten a neck by Estimate, and Mullins said: “He ran so well and I wasn't disappointed to be second – maybe for the first time in my life.

“Our horse ran well above his form – a career best for him I am sure. It was the perfect race to be in and it is special to be involved in a win for The Queen. This is a great day for racing.

“The plan this year had been to take him to the Melbourne Cup and I always said that if I had a horse good enough to run there then I would love to go back.

“We had a runner there a few years ago but he had a few of his own ideas about how he should train!

“This horse loves these staying races and I think the Melbourne Cup would suit him really well.

“I think the Melbourne Cup is the best race in the world, and it is the world’s best party, so that is where we will be heading.

“The plan is to keep the horse sound between now and then, and if we do go then I would like to get him out there early and give him a prep run somewhere beforehand.”

Mullins has dominated Irish jump racing in recent years and his Midas touch has extended across to the UK and the Cheltenham Festival with Hurricane Fly this year winning a second Champion Hurdle, Quevega a fifth Mares’ Hurdle and Sir Des Champs taking second in the Gold Cup.

But anyone doubting Mullins’ ability to travel horses need look no further than April’s Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan when his Blackstairmountain claimed a famous success under jockey Ruby Walsh.

The $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be run at Flemington on 5 November.

The Mullins-trained Holy Orders finished 17th in 2003 Melbourne Cup behind Makybe Diva.

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