The Cleaner Eyes Off Plate

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The Cleaner opened at $201 with TattsBet, but that hasn't stopped his legion of fans backing the 'Tasmanian terror' in Saturday's Cox Plate.

The waves of constant support shouldn't surprise anyone because he's the 'peoples' champion' and his front-running heroics have taken him from Longford in Tasmania to Moonee Valley's biggest race day! In fact, 42 starts after finishing 13th of 14 in a $12,000 Maiden (beaten 13.5 lengths) at Launceston, the seven-year-old son of Savoire Vivre will line up in the $3m weight-for-age championship known as the W.S. Cox Plate.   

Still, a lot has happened to the $10,000 Tasmania Magic Millions purchase and his laconic trainer Mick Burles since that first race appearance back in February 2011. The Cleaner has won 18 races, placed another 12 times from 43 lifetime outings. He's earned owners Jim Lowish, Bill Fawdry and Paul Burt (golfing buddies of Burles) $845,271 in stakes.

Based at Longford, 65-year-old Burles has mixed it with the big city trainers having crossed Bass Straight regularly.

The duo have enjoyed success at Sandown, Flemington and Moonee Valley in the big smoke. The Cleaner loves the Valley having started there six times for four victories, one second and one third. Over 2000m, the bush champ's record is 5:1-2-1 and he's coming off a win in the JRA Cup a month ago over the course and distance. That was Group 3, now it's Group 1 and at weight-for-age against the elite. 

But he's beaten the city slickers like Peter Moody, Gai Waterhouse and Chris Waller before and there's $1.8m reasons to upset the super stars again. The Cleaner will start from the outside barrier. However, that's not really an issue because jockey Steven Arnold knows the 'peoples' champ' likes to roll and give his rivals something to chase!

2013 Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner  remains the favourite despite easing, with Criterion well-supported on TattsBet.

Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

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