It is shaping-up as a huge year for Benjamin...
Cult Tassie galloper The Cleaner is set to return at Moonee Valley Racecourse next month kicking off a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign targeting a second run in the Cox Plate 2015.
Mick Burles’s son of Savoire Vivre raced in last year’s $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) on the back of a similar preparation to that which his trainer is planning again this coming spring.
He could only manage to run three and a half lengths away ninth to the Irish-trained Adelaide in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship, an effort Burles is hoping the rising eight-year-old can improve on in this year’s Cox Plate held on October 24.
The horse’s resuming run is scheduled for Moonee Valley on August 22 in a 1500m open handicap, The Cleaner having won first-up over the mile at the Valley in early August last year.
From there the Longford-based champ, who has been back in work for around two months, will target the same Cox Plate lead-up he also won 12 months ago, racing in the $250,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 5.
“He’s about four weeks off racing,” Burles told Racing Victoria.
“He’ll run over 1500 at Moonee Valley on the 22nd of August.
“Moonee Valley seems to suit him.
“He’ll have a trial at Hobart before that. He’s just doing a bit of pacework at the moment, so we’ll step his gallops up a bit before that.”
After winning the Dato’ last year, The Cleaner ran at the Valley again in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) a month before the Cox Plate further adding to his nice record at the track that now stands at four wins from seven starts.
A winner of 18 of his 49 starts to date for just over $1 million in prize money, last Spring The Cleaner finished up with a third behind Hucklebuck in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
He was also back in Melbourne during autumn for two runs, a fourth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) followed by a disappointing fifth to Sertorius in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield in early April.
Burles is happing with how The Cleaner has come through his latest break in the paddock and was excited to see how he goes in another Cox Plate with experience in the race now on his side.
“He’s definitely benefitted from the break. He’s eaten a lot better and he’s muscled up nice and strong,” he said.
“I want to have a go at the Cox Plate pretty fresh with him this year. The experience last year will do him the world of good…it’ll do me good too.”
In the latest Cox Plate odds, all-in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is led by Hong Kong galloper Able Friend ($9) and the Godolphin-raced Contributer ($9).
The Cleaner meanwhile is further down the markets listed as a $51 outsider ahead of the nominations that are taking by the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) in early August.
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