Hoop Steve Arnold, who will partner The Cleaner for the fourth successive time this Saturday in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), believes the feature race of Stakes Day at Flemington is the perfect trip for the cult horse.
The Cleaner has won eight of his total 13 starts over 1600 metres, including four of his past five starts over the distance, the most recent of which was the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 6.
The seven-year-gelding comes off a gallant ninth-place finish in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), his first step up to Group One racing. He was only 3½ lengths off the winner Adelaide after he continued to box on into the straight, which really spells out what a strong run it was.
Arnold believes he can run the mile “at a really good clip” but the jockey’s only concern is how well The Cleaner has rebounded from his grueling Cox Plate run.
“I thought he did a great job, he was tough and hung on really well,” the hoop told TVN.
“Obviously, he has come through it alright for Mick to be bringing him back.
“You will probably never know until they reach top pressure if he’s pulled up okay. If he comes and puts up his best I think he has a good chance.”
The Cleaner had to work hard in the first 600m of the 2014 Cox Plate to get across from his outside barrier (14) to find the front as he likes. An Emirates Stakes start from barrier six should make this job a lot easier.
He is a $12 shot to win the 2014 Emirates Stakes, for which Contributer is the $5 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Trainer Mick Burles has revealed a trip to Perth for the summer racing season could be on the cards for The Cleaner if the galloper can finish in the placings on Saturday – in particular the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 22.
“One of the main reasons I would take him to Perth is for the flying experience to see how he handles it because we might look at flying up to Sydney for the carnival next year,” Burles told TVN.
“He would need to perform well in the Emirates Stakes but the horse is fit and well. I’d be open to going across.
“If he runs in the first two or three tomorrow he will go to Perth and run in the Railway.”
The 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival come to a close with Stakes Day tomorrow, make sure you get one last bet in at Ladbrokes.com.au!