Impressive back-to-back winner of the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes, Mick Burles’s ace Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner could be headed towards an end-of-month Caulfield run in the Underwood Stakes 2015.
A proven Moonee Valley track specialist, eight-year-old Savoire Vivre gelding The Cleaner continues his strong Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival form backing up from a first-up second in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) to win the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at his pet course for the second year in a row.
“I know everybody goes crook when I say that, but I know the horse pretty well and I think he is bigger and stronger,” Burles told the media on Saturday after The Cleaner’s win.
While his major aim this prep as it was last season is the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) run under weight-for-age conditions back at the Valley on October 24, connections are looking at another Group 1 target before then.
Now exempt from Cox Plate ballot thanks to his weekend win, as he was last year when eventually running ninth to Adelaide in the classic, The Cleaner could go down a different path to that Grand Final.
After his Dato’ win 12 months ago he went on to run in and win the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) in late September over the same track and distance as the Cox Plate.
The Longford-based Burles told RSN’s Racing Ahead however he was looking this year at the $400,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield Racecourse on September 26 instead.
“I’ve got a few options but I’m looking pretty hard at the Underwood now,” Burles, who said he would love to see the horse win at Caulfield to give him a victory on all four Melbourne tracks, said.
“I think the horse has improved a fair bit in himself and is bigger and stronger.
“And I wouldn’t mind picking up a Group 1 with him.
“I’ve got the Cranbourne Cup lined up there too if I want to have a go at that, but he might cop a bit too much weight in that.”
The $200,000 Listed Cranbourne Cup (2020m) runs on Sunday October 11, two weeks out from Cox Plate Day.
Futures Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have The Cleaner at $21 for the win, internationals dominating the markets with Highland Reel ($11) and Arod ($13) at the top of betting.
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