The Cleaner is set for another exciting on-pace ride when he lines up for his new trainer Peter Gelagotis for the first time in Saturday’s 2016 P.B. Lawrence Stakes in Melbourne.
A now nine-year-old son of Savoire Vivre, the old warhorse gained cult-like status over his 54 career starts with Tasmanian trainer Mick Burles before connections moved the champ to Gelagotis’s Moe-based stables.
He hasn’t raced since his seventh as the beaten odds-on favourite at Launceston back in December last year behind Admiral in the Listed Conquering Stakes (1400m).
A subsequent injury ruled him out of a summer – autumn campaign, but stable representative Manny Gelagotis is confident they’ve got the veteran back to race fitness ahead of the $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
Twelve months ago The Cleaner finished runner-up to Group 1 winner Mourinho in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes before successfully defending his title in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
A shot at three straight Dato’ wins on September 3 is high on the agenda this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, but first Gelagotis needs the horse to answer the question of exactly where he is at with a good run on the weekend.
“The $64 million question is what level have we got him at,” Gelagotis told Racenet.
The Cleaner sharpened-up with a winning 1000m hit-out at Cranbourne in July and also impressed with a strong piece of work at Moe on Tuesday morning that Gelagotis is sure he will improve on first-up.
“We’re going into the race thinking he’s going to improve a fair bit because we’ve always had the Dato as his main target race,” he said.
“But he’s done enough work to show up if things go his way.
“He’s a good galloper and his work indicated he’s at a good level and we’re very happy with him.”
From nine previous first-up runs the horse has enjoyed three wins, three seconds and a third.
In the latest P.B. Lawrence Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au he is rated a $9 shot to win from barrier two with Steven Arnold aboard under race conditions for the first time since April last year.
A famous up-front runner, The Cleaner will again be taken forward to try and lead all-the-way to the line on the weekend when facing off against the likes of the Robbie Laing-trained Lord Of The Sky and Darren Weir’s Mahuta who ran first and third in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at the track last time out.
“We’re not going to change too much with the horse. He’s going to get an absolutely beautiful run in the race,” Gelgaotis said speaking race tactics.
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