STAR Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner has ended his Spring campaign with an unplaced run in the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes at Ascot in Perth (WA) yesterday but the gallant seven-year-old lost no admirers.
The Cleaner became a national cult hero this campaign with his catch-me-if-you-can front running racing pattern that led him to notch four wins and three minor placings from his weight starts over six months.
He opened his account with a second in a heat of the Winter Championship over 1400 metres at Flemington and followed up with a gallant win at Moonee Valley in the Travis Harrison Cup over 1600 metres.
He was second in the Winter Championship final over 1600m behind Akavoroun.
But he then went on a winning spree nothing successive victories at Moonee Valley comprising an open handicap (1600m), the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Nin Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and the Group 3 JRA Cup over 2040 metres when ridden for the first time by Steven Arnold.
He was then forced to travel three and four-wide for the first 800 metres of the Group 1 W. S. Cox Plate before finding the lead and then had the audacity to fight on like a caged lion to finish eighth but only three lengths from the winner Adelaide.
He followed up with a courageous third in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), beaten 1-1/2 lengths.
But then came the arduous trip to Western Australia and while the horse seemed to be his normal self, come race day yesterday he was unable to deliver the type of performance that has left his rivals gasping for air at the end of their encounters.
The Cleaner won just over $500,000 this campaign to take his career stake earnings to $935,271.
Listen to what trainer Mick Burles had to say about The Cleaner’s effort in the Railway Stakes and what lay in store for the gelded son of Savoire Vivre.