Tipperary option for Simenon

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.

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.”

Meanwhile, leading owner Barry Connell is looking forward to seeing The Tullow Tank embark on a career over fences later this year following the dual Grade One-winning hurdler’s switch from Philip Fenton to Dessie Hughes.

The six-year-old was last seen chasing home subsequent Cheltenham and Punchestown hero Vautour at Leopardstown in February.

Connell made the difficult decision to rule his star novice out of the Cheltenham Festival and subsequently the rest of the season after charges were brought against Fenton relating to treatments and medicines allegedly found at his yard in January 2012.

And with the case due to drag on until at least September, he has decided to move his prized asset to a new trainer.

Hughes trained Our Conor for Connell last year until the talented hurdler suffered a fatal injury in the Champion Hurdle.

Connell said: “The Tullow Tank is up in Dessie’s place and is just back in work.

“We’re having a good summer and with the grass being so good, you don’t want to leave them out in the field for too long and let them get too big.

“He jumps well and the plan is go down the novice chasing route.”

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