Tasmanian-trained galloper The Cleaner will vie for back-to-back Flemington wins when they carry the 60kg topweight for the Winter Championship Series Final 2013 this weekend, so long as they make the field that is.
Mick Burles’ in-form Savoire Vivre five-year-old returned to racing off a four month spell at Flemington on June 22 and overcame the ‘visitor’s gate’ 14 of 14 and 58kg to win a 1610m Provincial Plate.
That was the consistent gelding’s 13th career success from 26 starts, The Cleaner best known for their performances back home in the Apple Isle.
Winner of the Summer Cup (2100m) in Hobart this January The Cleaner enjoyed a nice second in the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) in February behind Hurdy Gurdy Man but failed to place when seventh to Geegees Blackflash in the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) next start.
They were subsequently sent to the paddock before being bought back for a shot at the winter riches in Victoria.
After their eye-catching first-up victory last month, which was their first look at Melbourne’s most iconic track, their Longford-based trainer Burles has entered them again for the lucrative $150,000 Listed Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) on Saturday.
A bumper 26 nominations were taken for the Winter Championship decider this year.
The Cleaner is currently sitting 20th on the ballot however not having contested any of the series’ heats.
With a capacity final field of just 16 starters connections will be sweating on a number of defectors higher up the order of entry to ensure The Cleaner makes the cut and isn’t regulated to one of the four emergencies.
The other top-rated and weighted entries behind The Cleaner include the Peter Moody-trained Club Command (58.5kg) coming off a heat win from June 22, last year’s final winner Glaneuse (57.5kg), last start Moonee Valley winner over the mile Blackie (56.5kg) and Magnifique Soleil (56.5kg) who must improve on their disappointing last start effort behind Club Command.
Other notable nominees include Stawell-based Hollowlea, veteran eight-year-old Another Prelate coming off a second to Club Command, Under The Hat who was third in the same heat and the Andrew Payne-trained Clanga’s Glory.
Check out the full list of nominations below and stay tuned for the release of the Winter Championship Series Final 2013 field and barriers on Wednesday.
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2013 Winter Championship Final Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 06/07/2013
|1||THE CLEANER||Robert Smerdon||20||60kg||100|
|2||CLUB COMMAND||Peter G Moody||5||58.5kg||97|
|4||BLACKIE (NZ)||Jarrod McLean||15||56.5kg||93|
|5||MAGNIFIQUE SOLEIL||Darren Weir||17||56.5kg||93|
|6||ANOTHER PRELATE||Quinton Scott||2||56kg||92|
|9||DASH FOR VIZ||Robbie Griffiths||11||54.5kg||89|
|11||CELLARMASTER (NZ)||Patrick Payne||6||54kg||88|
|12||CLANGA’S GLORY||Andrew J Payne||4||54kg||82|
|13||DAYITA||Peter G Moody||18||54kg||91|
|15||HEEZ BORN LUCKY (NZ)||Leigh Childs||22||54kg||78|
|16||HOLLOWLEA||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||1||54kg||85|
|17||INFINITE ENERGY||Peter G Moody||23||54kg||77|
|18||LONDON STRIPE (IRE)||Pat Carey||16||54kg||76|
|20||OMINOUS QUALITY||David Brideoake & David Feek||24||54kg||75|
|21||ROCK PRINCESS||Chris Hyland||21||54kg||84|
|23||STORM BURST||Peter G Moody||12||54kg||89|
|26||UNDER THE HAT||John Sadler||3||54kg||85|