Mick Burles has been sensationally sacked as the trainer of The Cleaner after he called for the veteran gelding to be retired following his below par performance in the Listed Conquering Stakes (1400m) at Launceston on December 9.
The Cleaner produced a series of strong performances during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he won the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley for the second year in a row, but he failed to show his trademark early speed in the Conquering Stakes and he tired badly in the final stages in what was one of the worst performances of his career to date.
Burles said that he was of the opinion that The Cleaner’s joints were starting to give out after what has been a lengthy and at times tough racing career and he asked for the eight-year-old to be retired, but he was informed by the owners of the eight-year-old that he would continue his racing career with new trainers.
“We won’t know until Tuesday or Wednesday and we have to do a few X-rays and scopes and one thing or another but I reckon he’s had enough,” Burles said.
I think his joints are starting to wear out) and he had bone chips when he was a baby.”
“It’ll probably ruin him again and they just won’t get anything out of him.
“They’re trying to make out it’s because I sacked the track ride and that’s crap.
“That’s my business, it’s nothing to do with the owners.
“It’s just all greed and ego.
“I’m quite pissed off he’s going.
“I’m alright, I can handle it, but I’m crabby.
“Why wouldn’t I be? Best horse I’ve ever trained.”
Managing co-owner Bill Fawdry defended the decision to continue the racing career of The Cleaner and he revealed that the Group 1 placegetter will head to Mornington base of Shane Stockdale, but could then head to the stable of Peter Gelagotis.
“There are a few reasons why we have decided to send the horse to another trainer but mainly it is because Mick (Burles) has been making a few mistakes lately and we just felt it was time to make a change,” Fawdry told Tasracing.
“We have put making this decision off for over a month but in the end we felt we had no option but to send the horse elsewhere.”
The Cleaner has recorded 19 wins from his 54 race starts and has accumulated over $1.3 million in prizemoney for connections.