Cult hero The Cleaner will get one final run this season before heading to the paddock after a gallant third finish in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.
Trainer Mick Burles was all set to put the seven-year-old in the paddock after the great run at Flemington, with the $1 million Australian Cup as his main target for the autumn season.
However the gelding’s owners were keen to tackle the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot Racecourse on November 22, so the trainer changed his plans.
“I’m as proud as punch with him,” Burles told TVN.
“He only got beaten a length and a bit and he kicked back really hard. I thought he was going to win.
“The horse has pulled up the best he’s ever pulled up.”
The Cleaner will now fly to Perth on Friday to get ready for the 2014 Railway Stakes on Saturday week. After that he will return to his Longford stables, where he will enjoy a much deserved break.
However that won’t last long, as his 2015 campaign will resume again in late February for the Listed George Adams Plate (1600m) at Launceston.
The gelding will then return to Melbourne, where he dazzled during this year’s spring campaign, for the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 14.
The Cleaner earned $408,000 this campaign after winning back-to-back in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley in September before finishing third in the 2014 Emirates Stakes.
The gelding also enjoyed a run in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in which he finished ninth. He was boxing on into the straight but just outclassed by his rivals. Still, he was just 3½ lengths off the winner, and after Saturday’s efforts no one can say he’s not classy enough for Group One racing.
With a tilt in the 2015 Australian Cup on the cards, The Cleaner will be one to watch next year.
Open your online betting account at Ladbrokes.com.au to back this exciting horse in the 2014 Railway Stakes next Saturday.