Another bold front running display by The Cleaner in the $80,000 Jeep Don’t Hold Back Handicap (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday will be enough to tempt trainer Mick Burles to tackle tougher assignments during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Cleaner was in devastating form two runs back with an all the way win over the 1600m at Moonee Valley and Burles thinks with similar tactics the seven year old could be competitive in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes over the same course and distance in five weeks time.
“I’d like to win a Group race with him, he’s got a few Listed ones, and he’s good at weight for age,” Burles told the Sportsman.
“Even though they are probably better horses I want to run him in it because not a lot of those races are run the way he likes to race.”
The Cleaner, the winner of fifteen of his forty race starts, was a gallant second under 60kg in the Listed $150,000 VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) at Flemington on July 12 and Burles is contributing the heavy weight to his defeat.
And even though The Cleaner has been lumped with half a kilo more this week, Burles said that the return to Moonee Valley will offset the impost.
“Moonee Valley will help him, he just goes at one speed and doesn’t let up,” Burles said.
“If they catch him then good luck to them.”
“He’s holding his condition and he’s happy as a pig.”
The Cleaner is racing in the best form of his career and Burles said that the gelding has no problem with the return boat trips from Launceston when he competes in Melbourne.
“He goes straight off the racetrack and straight onto a boat. He loves it,” Burles said.
Noel Callow will be having is first ride on The Cleaner, replacing regular rider Anthony Darmanin who is out injured after damaging his knee in a race day fall at Launceston on July 19.
Bookmakers like Burles think that The Cleaner is the one to beat again with Ladbrokes.com.au installing the Tasmanian front runner as the $2.80 favourite for the Jeep Don’t Hold Back Handicap.
The Chris Waller trained Fulgur is the second pick at $6.50 just ahead of Darren Weir’s Lord Of Brazil and the Robbie Laing trained Tristram’s Sun who share the next line of betting at $7 and Fast And Free from the Mick Price stable at $7.50.