The Cleaner has booked a spot in the 2014 Cox Plate with an all the way win in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley today.
Winning jockey Steven Arnold took up his predictable roll in front with The Cleaner ($4.40) who was able to hold off the finishing efforts of Mourinho ($14) and Foreteller ($7).
The weight for age Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes is an exempt race for the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) on October 25 and winning trainer Mick Burles said he would definitely be back at Moonee Valley to contest the weight for age championship of Australasia.
“I am going to. That’s all I was aiming for,’ Burles said.
Favourite punters were happy again and cheered home the front running Tasmanian galloper after having to come to terms with the defeat of the odds on favourite Lankan Rupee earlier in the day in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m).
The Cleaner has shown his liking for the Moonee Valley 1600m with today’s win, the third over the course and distance.
“He’s a bloody champion isn’t he,” Burles said.
“It was a test, a test to see if he measure up to others, well I think he did.”
“I’m happy with what he’s done.”
Burles admits that The Cleaner is a tricky horse to train because he can loose condition quickly if you work him too hard.
“Gotta keep the weight on him, gotta keep his strength up. If you work him too hard he just falls away to a shadow. You just have to look after the horse.”
Burles will head home to his Longford stables in Tasmania tonight and return for the Group 3 $200,000 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on September 26.
“Back to Longford tonight, get it over with. Then were will go in the JRA Cup.”
Arnold was luckily enough to pick up the ride on the The Cleaner after his regular rider Anthony Darmanin and then Noel Callow who rode him to victory at his previous start at Moonee Valley were both out injured.
The Chris Waller trained Foreteller put in a good effort coming from last at the 800m to land in third spot and Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer would have pleased the Gai Waterhouse stable with an eye catching effort to run home strongly for fifth, beaten less than two lengths.