A Cox Plate dream is very much alive for 65 year old Tasmian trainer Mick Burles, after his cult horse The Cleaner raised the bar yet again, winning the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Against more season rivals such as Foreteller and Mourinho, The Cleaner showed his usual front running prowess, and was never challenged, winning by just under a length.
Even more interesting, was the he had a boil on his backside on the morning of the race, which Burles simply "cut off", and received a kick from his 7 year old gelding in the process.
It obviously didn't bother him, as The Cleaner became the first winner of the Date Tan Chin Nam to lead all the way since Sunline way back in 2000.
Today was the big test to see if he would measure up to the best and he did. He will run here again in the JRA Cup in three weeks and he will show then just how good he is over 2040m. He has won seven races at the trip. I’ll ship him home tonight and go easy on him — if you work him hard he will fade away to a shadow,” Burles said.
Betting agencies have daringly left his odds for the Cox Plate at $51, which will likely be snapped up by The Cleaner's ever growing cult following.