The Cleaner returned to the winner’s circle in Saturday’s Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley over the weekend, and trainer Mick Burles has revealed he is eyeing a start in the 2015 Underwood Stakes (1800m) for the popular galloper following the convincing success.
The Cleaner was sent off as outright second-favourite to the resuming Contributer in the Dato, but allowed himself the best possible chance for success when jumping well and setting a typically fast tempo for the talent-rich field.
Rounding onto the final straight with a clear racing line, the Savoire Vivre gelding continued to find for jockey Noel Callow and opened a two length gap by the time he hit the line ahead of Bagman and Dibayani.
Burles was understandably thrilled with the second-up performance mustered by The Cleaner on Saturday and told RSN he is seriously considering a berth in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes on September 26th with the horse.
“I’ve got a few options but I’m looking pretty hard at the Underwood now,” Burles said.
“I think the horse has improved a fair bit in himself and is bigger and stronger.
“And I wouldn’t mind picking up a Group One with him.
“I’ve got the Cranbourne Cup lined up there too if I want to have a go at that, but he might cop a bit too much weight in that.”
The Cleaner was a standout for Burles through the 2014 Spring Carnival; winning each of the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes and Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) on his way to ninth in the Cox Plate and third in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), but the Longford-based trainer is confident he has improved again heading into the 2015 Spring Carnival.
“I know everybody goes crook when I say that, but I know the horse pretty well and I think he is bigger and stronger,” Burles said after the race on Saturday.
Posting nineteen wins and fifteen minors through 51 career starts so far, The Cleaner returned in autumn this year for a close second in the Listed George Adams Plate (1600m) on February 25th; progressing to an impressive fourth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) but faded late to finish fifth in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) on April 4th.
Having returned this time for a close second in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) a fortnight prior to the Dato, The Cleaner remains at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $21 for success at Ladbrokes.com.au.