Three time Cox Plate winning jockey Glen Boss is happy to have noted front runner The Cleaner set the pace in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley today.
Boss will be riding the Chris Waller trained Royal Descent who is looking for a Spring Carnival breakthrough after being in the runner’s up stall at all of her four 2014 Spring appearances.
Knowing that Steven Arnold will take the Mick Burles trained The Cleaner to the front from the outside barrier gives Boss confidence that the race will be run at a genuine pace, enabling him to give Royal Descent a sweet run just off the pace from gate three and give the mare every chance to win .
“He’s certainly important to me because his presence in the race means I can win it aboard Royal Descent,” Boss wrote in his Herald Sun column today.
“On many occasions the tempo just hasn’t suited her but The Cleaner will allow her to get into a beautiful rhythm at a solid but not breakneck gallop.”
But Boss also noted that although The Cleaner likes to bowl along in front of the field, he is not a tearaway leader and usually controls the race under his terms.
“He certainly doesn’t run them ragged, like a Vo Rogue,” Boss added.
“He’s actually run pretty slow times at his last two wins at Moonee Valley over 1600m and 2040m. Both times he’s been around a couple of seconds outside the track record.”
“His first half mile is usually run at a pretty sedate tempo, if anything.
“What he does do is step it up for the last half mile (800m) and ultimately makes races a genuine test.
“For that reason he is an important runner.”
The Cleaner’s front running tactics were on display at his last three Moonee Valley starts when he won a 1600m Handicap on August 2 following by a win in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).
The Tasmanian trained seven year old then went on to win over the Cox Plate course and distance in the Group 3 $200,000 Alternate Railway JRA Cup (2040m).
Royal Descent has run into one better on four occasions at Randwick this preparation, three of those races against Chris Waller stablemates Hawkspur, Sacred Falls and He’s Your Man.
The Redoute’s Choice mare ran a first up second to Tiger Tees in the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) then second again to Hawkspur in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
At her next run she was gallant in defeat behind Sacred Falls in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) before going down by head to He’s Your Man in the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m).
“She has been unkindly described as a non-winner,” Boss wrote.
“Royal Descent has also been running a lot of placings but she is not a “non-winner’’, she is just a super-consistent mare at the highest level.”
The latest Cox Plate betting with Ladbrokes.com.au has Royal Descent marked as an $11 chance while The Cleaner has remained steady at $15.
Last start Caulfield Stakes winner Fawkner is the $4.80 favourite ahead of the David Payne trained Criterion at $6.50 and the Irish galloper Adelaide and Sacred Falls at $7.50.
Last year’s Cox Plate runner up Happy Trails shares the next line of betting at $11 with Royal Descent while super Kiwi mare Silent Achiever is alongside of The Cleaner at $15.