The Cleaner will face the toughest test of his racing career to date when he contests the 2014 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday and trainer Mick Burles does not think that he has ever had the popular galloper in better condition.
The Cleaner earnt himself an opportunity at Group level during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with a string of impressive performances during his winter preparation, which included two wins over the 1600 metres course at Moonee Valley in the Travis Harrison Cup (1600m) on June 21 and the Jeep Don’t Hold Back Handicap (1600m) on August 2.
Burles told RSN this morning that he had given The Cleaner a brief let-up following his brave front-running win in the Jeep Don’t Hold Back Handicap and could not be happier with the condition of the Savoire Vivre gelding heading into the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes on Saturday.
“He is really good,” Burles said.
“I gave him a week off when he came back, gave him a couple of easy weeks and then got into him for the last couple.
“He is probably the best that I have ever had him.”
The Cleaner has become one of the most popular horses in because of his front-running style and Burles sees no reason why he should change the racing pattern of the seven-year-old.
The tough gelding has recorded two wins from as many starts over a mile at Moonee Valley and Burles will not be changing his routine; with the gelding set to leave Tasmania on Thursday night before heading back after he runs in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes on Saturday.
“I’ve tried to hold him up, but he doesn’t like it, he pulls and rips and tears, so why fight him,” Burles said.
“I am quite happy to let him bowl along, he’s happy doing it so let him do it.
“He will come over Thursday night, land Friday morning and go to the races on Saturday.
“He is just such a lovely horse to handle.
“You dream of horses like this and they don’t come along very often for little trainers like me in Tassie.”
The Cleaner will earn ballot-exempt entry into the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 if he wins the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes on Saturday and he is currently available at Cox Plate odds of $101 with Ladbrokes Australia.