After running a credible ninth in last weekend’s Cox Plate the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival raid of Mick Burles’ Tassie galloper The Cleaner could continue Saturday week in the 2014 Emirates Stakes.
It has been a fairytale season for the Savoire Vivre seven-year-old from the Apple Isle with The Cleaner winning four of his seven Victorian runs since May.
Having been set all along for a shot at Australasia’s weight-for-age championship, the veteran was tracking ideally towards the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) winning three straight at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Included in the hat-trick was the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and then the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) over former Victoria Derby winner, the since-retired Sangster.
Then on Cox Plate Day The Cleaner went out as a 14-1 shot, working hard from the outside barrier (14) with Steve Arnold staying on for a credible ninth only three and a half lengths off the Aidan O’Brien-trained international winner Adelaide.
It was a speedy edition of the Cox Plate with the winner posting a sharp time of 2:03.76, the fastest edition of the classic since Might And Power set the currently standing record of 2:03.05 back in 1997.
The hot pace didn’t suit front-runner The Cleaner then who had to work hard early to get across from the gate and onto the fence where he’s most comfortable, leaving Burles proud of the horse’s unplaced performance.
A winner of over $848,270 in prize money from his 44 starts to date, The Cleaner really has cleaned up for connections who paid only $10,000 for him at the Tasmanian 2009 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
He could get a chance to add more to that impressive record too however with Burles not pulling the pin on the spring just yet with another possible trip back across the Tasman pending.
Keen to give his galloper another go in Group 1 company, the Longford-based Burles is now looking at a run in the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on November 8, the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, after The Cleaner pulled up well post-Cox Plate.
“The horse has pulled up in great order and probably could have gone around again a half-hour after the race,” Burles told Tasracing on Monday.
“He arrived home at the stables this morning looking a million dollars and he went straight out into his yard and had a roll around in the mud. That’s what he loves to do after it rains.
“I will get my vet to run his hands over the horse before I make any firm decision on where he goes next.
“He might have a break but right at the minute I would say he was a decent chance to go to the Emirates.”
If he does back-up in the Emirates Stakes The Cleaner would carry 56kg, the lightest weight he will have carried since August of 2012.
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