Bought for £63,000 as a yearling and hailing from a good French family of stayers including the Group 2 winner, Epitre, Simenon began his career with English trainer Andrew Balding, for whom he won twice as a two-year-old.
He both ended 2009 and begun 2010 with placed efforts in Group 3 races but thereafter his form began to deteriorate and by the time he crossed the Irish Sea to try his hand at hurdling with Willie Mullins in autumn 2011 he had clocked up a sequence of 11 consecutive defeats.
Mullins landed two minor events over obstacles with him, not to mention a pair of decent place prizes in Graded novice hurdles. But his decision to have another go on the level with the now gelded son of Marju proved inspired as he won not once but twice at Royal Ascot 2012, winning the Ascot Stakes by six lengths and, four days later, the Queen Alexandra Stakes by seven.
He was then returned to Group company, running respectably without making the frame in three attempts. A second crack at hurdling in late 2012 produced two dismal efforts at Punchestown, so Mullins resolved to give him a break and prepare him for the following year’s top staying races on the flat.
A pipe-opener under top weight in the Chester Cup resulted in a superb fourth place given that his chance was compromised both by a wide draw and by suffering ill luck in running. This put him spot on for another visit to Royal Ascot and he ran the race of his life in the Gold Cup, only failing by a neck to spoil The Queen’s party by catching the royal filly, Estimate. It was a similar story at York in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup where he attempted to make all but was beaten a head by Ahzeemah.
After that he went to Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, finishing a close third to Sea Moon in a Group 2 handicap followed by an excellent fourth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup. He finished 13th of 17 in the Group 1 Japan Cup, but was only beaten less than four lengths, and was then fifth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December.
He started 2014 at Meydan with a respectable fifth, albeit beaten nine lengths, to Cavalryman but then ran very poorly in Group 2 Gold Cup on Dubai World Cup Night, finishing last.
He then came to Ascot in April but was never competitive and finished second last and then returned for the Gold Cup but could not repeat his second place in 2013, finishing strongly past beaten horses to take a never nearer fifth.