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Longford-based horseman Mick Burles has enjoyed a stellar season so far with his cult galloper The Cleaner and says he cannot wait for Cox Plate Day 2014 when the Tassie raider attempts his first Group 1 win.
Savoire Vivre seven-year-old The Cleaner has been in ace form in Melbourne since May running top two in all six of his Victorian starts including three straight wins in his three most recent runs.
It’s been a fairy tale for the honest horse who has now raced his way into the mix for the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 25.
This campaign he’s had four runs at Moonee Valley for four wins showing a true affinity for the notoriously tight circuit, two of those triumphs being in Group company.
Two back he held on to win by three quarters of a length defeating the likes of Mourinho and Foreteller in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 6.
Then last time out on September 26 under the lights on a Friday night he scored a tight win over former Victoria Derby winner Sangster and Dato runner-up Mourinho in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) over the Cox Plate distance.
Burles told the Racing Network today that The Cleaner hasn’t been galloped since his JRA Cup success but that everything was spot on for his return to Melbourne for the Cox Plate at the end of the month with the horse enjoying his freshen-up back home.
“He’s as happy as a pig in you-know-what and so am I,” Burles said.
On Tuesday The Cleaner was one of 41 Cox Plate third acceptances taken by Racing Victoria and in the latest odds at Ladbrokes.com.au he pays $17 to upset the likes of last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner ($5.50), George Main Stakes winner Sacred Falls ($6.50) and the Peter Moody-trained Dissident ($7.50).
Burles plans to give his runner two gallopers next week and then a subsequent one the following week before the Cox Plate.
“He’ll have two gallops next week and one more before he goes over to Melbourne,” he confirmed.
While sponsorship offers continue to flood in from everyone from a corporate bookmaker to a national cleaning business, Burles said all he wants is to get the horse fit and ready to fire in his Grand Final.
“All I’m concentrating on is the horse and having him fit for the Cox Plate,” Burles said.
“I can’t wait until October 25 comes around.”
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