Mick Burles’ progressive stayer The Cleaner cleaned up at Hobart on Sunday scoring a devastating four length win over the odds-on favourite and defending champ Geegees Blackflash in the 2012 Tasmanian Stakes.
The Savoire Vivre five-year-old went out as a $3.50 shot in this year’s edition of the $90,000 Listed Kevin Sharkie Tasmanian Stakes (1600m), The Cleaner having their first start since their distant ninth over the mile and a half in the Listed RM Ansett Classic at Mornington in September which bought their maiden interstate campaign that included a good win at Sandown and a second at Moonee Valley to an end.
Back in Hobart and back down to the mile The Cleaner was poised for success and succeed they did with Jason Maskiell guiding them to an easy four length victory in the Tasmanian Stakes 2012 after a brave lead-all-the-way performance.
Second past the post was the John Luttrell-trained Hobart Cup champ Geegees Blackflash ($1.70) who failed to go back-to-back in the Kevin Sharkie with Troy Blacker’s roughie Dream Pedlar ($18.80) a further three quarters of a length away in third in an eye-catching run having come from near last with 700m left to travel.
The Cleaner has now won 10 of their 20 career starts to date for over $185,600 in prize money, the Tasmanian Stakes their first black type win so far, and Burles was thrilled to see them get the better of a champion like Geegees Blackflash under weight-for-age conditions.
“Yeah look he’s got a lot of guts this horse,” he said after the race.
“I didn’t think I could beat Geegees Blackflash on equal weights but to the horse’s credit he’s got a lot of stamina.
“Looks pretty good for the future I reckon.”
Burles was also happy with their first-up run saying they had come through their Melbourne campaign well.
“I reckon he’s put on 40 or 50 kilos since he’s come back from Melbourne I’ve took my time with him I haven’t done a real lot with him,” he said.
“He had three or four weeks in the paddock to get rid of that bit of a virus he had and I’ve just took my time with him plugging along.
“He’s only had about three gallops.”
Rival jockey Peter Metens, aboard Geegees Blackflash, said the veteran galloper was definitely not at their best on Sunday.
“When he won at his previous start (in Launceston defeating Rebel Bride in the Conquering Stakes) he was the Blackflash of old but the run might have taken a bit too much out of him because he was a bit flat today,” Mertens said.
As for where to next with this year’s Tasmanian Stakes winner The Cleaner Burles will set them for the $225,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 10 and the $225,000 Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) two weeks after during the 2013 Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival.
“I’ll sit down and have a look with the owners tomorrow and just see where we are but long plans are Launceston Cup but I need a couple of lead-up races for that,” he said.
One lead-up race that was being considered is the $100,000 Devonport Cup (1880m) on the synthetic on January 9 but Burles admitted that may not be the right way to go.
“I’m a bit hesitant about going to Devonport but it’s in the line but probably the Summer Cup (on and then the Jockey Club Cup and then the (Launceston) Cup,” he said.
And as for the likelihood of some strong types coming from Melbourne to take on the locals in the Tassie Cups this summer? Burles remains unfazed.
“This horse can break other horses hearts he’s proved that,” he said.
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2012 Tasmanian Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Hobart Race 6 – 16/12/2012
|1||7||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Jason Maskiell||–||1||59kg||$3.50|
|2||3||GEEGEES BLACKFLASH||John Luttrell||Peter Mertens||4L||6||59kg||$1.70F|
|3||2||DREAM PEDLAR||Troy Blacker||Craig Newitt||4.8L||7||59kg||$18.80|
|4||4||JAY BEE’S GEE GEE||Stuart Gandy||Stephen Maskiell||7.8L||3||59kg||$11.40|
|5||6||ROCKY TIMES||Brendan Mcshane||Bulent Muhcu (a)||8.1L||2||59kg||$48.30|
|6||8||SORELL MISS||David & Scott Brunton||Anthony Darmanin||8.2L||4||57kg||$11.50|
|7||5||PREVAILING||David & Scott Brunton||Brendon McCoull||12.5L||5||59kg||$16.10|
|–||1||DREAM FLYER||Troy Blacker||Ibrahim Gundogdu||–||0||–||–|