Mick Burles’s Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner is top weight with the No. 1 saddlecloth in the Winter Championship Series Final 2014 at Flemington Racecourse this weekend.
One of a quartet of Listed finals on the Melbourne program on Saturday, the $150,000 Listed VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) has drawn a bumper final field of 16 acceptors plus four emergencies.
Set to carry 60kg with a wide barrier 16, possibly into gate 12, draw is Savoire Vivre six-year-old The Cleaner.
The evergreen galloper has been in top form in Melbourne this season, their first interstate campaign since a failed effort with Robert Smerdon this time last year.
They had a good summer campaign back home in the Apple Isle including a George Adams Plate win over the mile at Launceston in late February before a three month break.
It was onto Melbourne for a first-up second behind Limes in a heat of this series over 1400m on May 24, and then their three length Travis Harrison Cup (1600m) win at Moonee Valley on June 21.
They carried 58kg that day and so must handle more weight on Saturday, but are still in with a shot at the title.
There are then three other last start winners in this year’s Winter Championship Final field including Ciaron Maher’s super consistent Akavoroun in barrier nine (into seven).
The Lacryma Cristi four-year-old is yet to finish out of the top two winning five of their six starts to date.
The latest of those was over 1410m here a fortnight ago when beating Ringo in Heat 6 by three quarters of a length.
They carried 54kg that day and go up to 55.5kg for the final where they will look to continue their outstanding record and handle the distance having their first look at the mile.
The other last start winners are then the Leon Corstens-trained Heat 3 winning Neiello four-year-old Tried And Tired (barrier three) and Mick Price’s Fast And Free who won Heat 7 on July 3 at Cranbourne.
Price has also accepted for Danroad gelding Dany The Fox and Exceed And Excel four-year-old Eximius who ran third and fourth respectively behind their stablemate Fast And Free last time out.
They have drawn at opposite ends of the field however with 59kg second heaviest weighted in the race Dany The Fox in barrier two while Eximius, to be ridden by Daniel Moore, has barrier 18 (into 14).
Other gallopers coming off some nice lead-up form then include Mike Breslin’s Heat 6 runner-up to Akavoroun Ringo (barrier four), the Peter Moody-trained Heat 5 runner-up Soros (barrier 10) and Force Command (barrier 12) for Greg Eurell who ran fourth in that same leg.
See below for the full Winter Championship Series Final 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2014 Winter Championship Series Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 6 (3:35pm) – 12/07/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||3622251×21||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Anthony Darmanin||16||60kg||102|
|2||205×615343||DANY THE FOX (NZ)||Mick Price||Dean Yendall||2||59kg||100|
|3||53787×0048||LORD OF BRAZIL (NZ)||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||17||57.5kg||97|
|4||11×1121||AKAVOROUN||Ciaron Maher||Ms Michelle Payne||9||55.5kg||93|
|5||210×411281||TRIED AND TIRED||Leon Corstens||Nicholas Hall||3||55.5kg||93|
|6||2x02x74155||HENWOOD (NZ)||John Sadler||Glen Boss||11||55kg||92|
|7||609344×024||EXIMIUS||Mick Price||Daniel Moor||18||54.5kg||91|
|8||215×786517||LORD DURANTE||Simone Ferchie||Chris Symons||19||54.5kg||91|
|9||18x03x4101||FAST AND FREE||Mick Price||Ms Jackie Beriman (a)||6||54kg||90|
|10||8×62263308||GIG||Shawn Mathrick||Ms Katelyn Mallyon (a)||1||54kg||90|
|11||327×845357||SAID COM (NZ)||Chris Waller||James Winks||5||54kg||90|
|12||1x51295x12||RINGO (NZ)||Mike Breslin||Dwayne Dunn||4||54kg||89|
|13||812186×660||POST D’FRANCE (NZ)||Stephen Brown||Damian Lane||20||54kg||86|
|14||3680×17742||SOROS||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||10||54kg||84|
|15||112718×339||MURCIELAGA||Michael Moroney||Jake Noonan||14||54kg||78|
|16||339x00x194||FORCE COMMAND||Greg Eurell||Craig Newitt||12||54kg||75|
|17e||4x88100x00||CONSTANT FORCE||Bill & Symon Wilde||–||15||54.5kg||91|
|18e||x81350x240||BLACKIE (NZ)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||13||59kg||100|
|19e||00572586×0||DURNFORD||Shea Eden||Ibrahim Gundogdu||8||54kg||86|
|20e||2x876x7117||EIGELSTEIN (GB)||Chris Waller||–||7||58kg||98|