Trainer Mick Burles is thrilled with the condition of stable star The Cleaner and is confident the popular gelding is primed for success in Wednesday evening’s Listed Conquering Stakes (1400m) at Launceston.
The Cleaner returned to racing in exceptional form through the recent Spring Carnival; running second in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up before delivering a talented field defeat in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) for the second consecutive year on September 5th.
Running an agonizingly-close third in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), the Savoire Vivre gelding has not been seen at the races since finishing an impressive seventh in the featured Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 24th.
Burles told RSN the gelding has taken plenty of benefit from his time away from competition, and he has identified Admiral as the eight-year-old’s biggest threat in the 2015 Conquering Stakes.
“He’s really good, bright as a button and couldn’t get any better,” Burles said.
“I only gave him a fortnight in the paddock. He just had a bit of green grass and put on about 20kgs and I had to bring him in otherwise he would have been a bloody elephant!
“I’ve had a couple of issues with viruses with him and I’m waiting on some blood results this morning but hopefully they’ll be right.
“If he’s right he should take a bit of beating. There’s a good horse in there, Admiral, who beat him last year but my bloke wasn’t right last year but he’s right this year.
“They have to carry the same weight. Last year they were three-year-olds, this year they’re four-year-olds and have to carry the same weight as him – it’s a bit different.”
Burles confirmed The Cleaner will progress to the $100,000 Listed Tasmanian Stakes (1600m) following his run on Wednesday night before travelling to the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions Cup (1800m) in January.
“There’s the Tassie Stakes at Mowbray on December 23rd again, another $100,000 and then the Gold Coast,” Burles continued.
“There’s one at Doomben on Saturday (Traveston Girl) that does the same thing that goes alright and will be in the same race (Magic Millions Cup). I don’t know if it’s up to The Cleaner because he’s been running in Group 1s and 2s for his last 20 starts.”
The Cleaner has posted a commendable nineteen wins and sixteen minors through his busy 53 start career since first appearing on course in 2011.