A first four finish by The Cleaner in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday will see the front running seven year old head west for the Festival Of Perth Racing.
Tassie trainer Mick Burles has reported that The Cleaner is in top order and has freshened up nicely following his ninth to Adelaide in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
“He has pulled up a treat. I couldn’t be happier with him,” Burles told Racing Ahead.
“It hasn’t worried him at all. He could have went around again twenty minutes after the race.”
“I don’t think you would get a fitter horse than what he is.”
Burles has picked out the Group 1 $1m Carlton Draught-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on November 22 as The Cleaner’s target in Perth and a good effort in the Emirates Stakes will book him a place on the plane.
“We probably will. It depends how he goes Saturday. If he runs in the first four I will go over,” Burles said.
Apart from chasing the huge prizemoney on offer in the west, Burles is also keen to see how The Cleaner handles the plane trip with the intention of flying to Sydney for the Autumn Carnival next year.
“That’s one of the main reasons behind taking him to Perth, for the flying experience,” Burles said.
“To see how he handles it.
“Probably next year we might look at a race in Sydney and I could fly him up.”
Burles trains at Longford in Tasmania and every time The Cleaner goes around in Melbourne they ferry it over to the mainland on the Spirit Of Tasmania.
The Cleaner was in dynamic form in the lead up to the Cox Plate with a hat trick of wins at Moonee Valley including a win in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) followed by a win in the Group 3 $200,000 Alternate Railway JRA Cup (2040m).
The Cleaner’s record shows that he has had a win over the 1600m at Flemington and Burles has no worries about him dropping back to the mile following his two runs over the 2040m at Moonee Valley.
“No concern at all. He had a gallop on Tuesday morning and that’s it,” Burles said.
“He worked 800m up 600m, he run his last 400m in 21.40s.”
The Cleaner is currently an $11 chance for the Emirates Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au in an open betting race that has six runners under double figure odds.
The John O’Shea trained Contirbuter has firmed slightly to be the $5 favourite with last start Crystal Mile winner Hooked and the Darren Weir trained Lucky Hussler sharing the second line of betting at $7.
Damien Oliver’s mount Bull Point is also well in commission at $7.50 along with Team Hawkes’ Leebaz who has been backed in from $10 to $8 ahead of the Adelaide trained Hucklebuck at $8.50.