Free running front runner The Cleaner will now make his 2016 Spring Carnival debut in the Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in a fortnight after being scratched from the Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
New trainer Peter Gelagotis had accepted with The Cleaner for the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) but decided to stick with his original plan following a last minute meeting with the owners.
“We had consultation between the stakeholders in the horse including the jockey as well as some professional form analysts after which Peter decided to it was in the horse’s best interests to wait a fortnight and for 1400m,” stable manager Manny Gelagotis told G1X.com.au.
“It just came down to the way the race profiles for Saturday,” Gelagotis said.
“It looks as though it could be a pressure speed race with Charmed Harmony and Lord Of The Sky and we just didn’t feel it best to get engaged in that.
“We have been very patient with his build up and out a lot of time and effort into getting him back and don’t want to take any chances affecting the longevity of him as a racehorse over the spring carnival.”
With plenty of pace on offer in the Bletchingly Stakes, Gelagotis didn’t want The Cleaner to have a gut buster at his first run for the stable and can see the rising nine year old getting an easier run in front over the 1400m of the P.B. Lawrence Stakes.
“We nominated on the basis we might find a small weak sprint field at this time of the year, but we now agree that 1400m is the best way to go in the Lawrence and get him rolling. We have bigger fish to fry,” Gelagotis said.
As well as The Cleaner, Bletchingly Stakes contenders Lord Of The Sky, Charmed Harmony and Mahuta all like to race on the pace which will guarantee a hot battle up front.
After the P.B. Lawrence Stakes, The Cleaner will line up in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 3 then into Group 1 $500,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield three weeks later.
The Cleaner was previously trained by Tasmanian mentor Mick Burles who prepared the gelding to win nineteen of his fifty-four race starts with prizemoney earnings over $1.3 million.