They may have missed out on the Devonport Cup win but after bouncing back to snare the Summer Cup last Sunday, Mick Burles’ talented stayer The Cleaner is back on track for next month’s 2013 Hobart Cup.
The Savoire Vivre gelding boasts a consistent record of 12 wins from 23 starts so far earning their position as one of Tasmania’s best gallopers the hard way after waiting five months to break their maiden after their failed debut in February of 2011.
Once they broke their winning duck it was all systems go for The Cleaner who continued to rise through the grades as they hit their form at 2100m winning events including the Brighton and Longford Cups last summer.
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This Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival got underway with a nice first-up effort when The Cleaner thrashed last year’s Hobart Cup winner Geegees Blackflash by four lengths in the Listed Kevin Sharkie Tasmanian Stakes (1600m) back in mid-December.
Another win at Launceston where they beat Geegees Blackflash again this time over the Launceston mile saw them jump the hot favourite in the Devonport Cup (1880m) on January 9.
But as it did in the same race last year, The Cleaner a disappointing seventh to Dream Flyer, the synthetic surface at Devonport got the better of them and they could only manage to finish eight lengths away 10th behind interstate visitor Fieldmaster.
“He just doesn’t like it mate and he won’t go a yard on it,” Burles said.
The Cleaner bounced back last Sunday at Hobart however showing that over the 2100m on the turf they were the one to beat with an emphatic all the way win in the Summer Cup where they beat home Norsqui by half a length.
“We ran along a bit and he delivered exactly what we were expecting today,” jockey Jason Maskiell said after the win on Sunday.
“The horse just doesn’t handle the Devonport track and I reckon he proved that today.”
They will now step up to Group company for the first time in their career with the $225,000 Group 3 AAMI Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 10 on the agenda for their next run.
“He’ll go straight into the Hobart Cup now,” Burles confirmed.
The Hobart Cup 2013 will also be just their second look at the mile and a half, their first being a distant fifth to Dame Claire in the Listed R.M. Ansett Classic (2413m) at Mornington during their visit to last year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival which earlier produced a win at Sandown and a second at Moonee Valley, and Burles is confident they won’t have any problems over the extra 300m.
“Not a problem at all, we just gotta’ settle him down a bit more, a little bit longer work and just cool him down a little bit,” he said.
And when asked if Maskiell would retain the ride right through the horse’s summer prep Burles response showed how happy he was with the way they had been riding him.
“My word he will,” he said.
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