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The Cleaner will head to the 2014 Cox Plate on October 25 after he maintained his winning form with a trademark front-running victory in the 2014 JRA Cup at Moonee Valley tonight.
The Cleaner secured a place in the Cox Plate field when he led all the way to win the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at his last start, but there were questions marks over whether the geldings form over a mile would transfer to the 2040 metres of the JRA Cup.
The doubts over The Cleaner’s ability to run out a strong 2040 metres proved to be unfounded and he hung on in the final stages of the JRA Cup to record a narrow win from a fast-finishing Sangster and Mourinho.
Trainer Mick Burles has not been thrilled with his newfound status as the most sought after racing personality in Australia, but he was delighted to see The Cleaner score another race win and questioned those who said there was a query over the seven-year-olds ability to run out a strong 2040 metres.
“They probably love him as much as I do,” Burles said after the race.
“I don’t know where the query was because he has run seven races up to 2100 and I suppose Index Linked and Banca Mo beat him, but neither of them are on track anymore and he buggered both of them.
“He will go home and have a week in his paddock and we will get him ready for the Cox Plate.
“Nothing will change.”
Steven Arnold wasted little time taking The Cleaner to the lead in the JRA Cup and he really put the pressure on the rest of the field at the 700 metre mark.
The leading Melbourne hoop admitted that The Cleaner is an unusual horse to ride, but he said that the tough gelding will give connections and fans a good sight in the 2014 Cox Plate.
“It is a great thrill,” Arnold said.
“He has to go at a good tempo, but he is so courageous that he sort of breaks them up coming to the corner and it is a real tough test for them to get past him.
“He is building a bit of momentum and building a good following.
“He is such a courageous horse and everybody seems to love him.”
The Cleaner is currently available at 2014 Cox Plate odds of $34 with Ladbrokes.com.au and you can find the best odds for all the major races during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with the leading online bookmaker.
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2014 JRA Cup Results
|1||1||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Steven Arnold||–||9||59kg||$5.50|
|2||3||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Hugh Bowman||0.2L||1||57.5kg||$31|
|3||5||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Craig Newitt||0.5L||11||56.5kg||$4.60|
|4||4||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Mark Zahra||1.25L||4||57kg||$15|
|5||2||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||Glen Boss||1.35L||3||58kg||$13|
|6||9||HVASSTAN||Peter Gelagotis||Dwayne Dunn||1.45L||7||54kg||$21|
|7||10||LORD DURANTE||Simone Ferchie||Chris Symons||1.55L||5||54kg||$41|
|8||8||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Craig Williams||1.65L||8||54kg||$5|
|9||11||SIGNOFF (IRE)||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||2.65L||2||54kg||$3.80F|
|10||7||MARKSMANSHIP (IRE)||Ciaron Maher||Ms Michelle Payne||3.4L||10||54kg||$21|
|11||6||ANCIENT KING (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Ms Linda Meech||4.4L||6||54kg||$31|
|12||12||OMINOUS (GB)||Nigel Blackiston||Kerrin McEvoy||16.4L||12||54kg||$51|
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