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Mud to help The Cleaner in Launceston Cup
Mike Hedge
06:15 AEST Wed Feb 27 2013

Mick Burles had plenty of confidence in The Cleaner's chances in Wednesday's Launceston Cup before the rain came.

With a wet track now a certainty for the Group Three race, the trainer is almost defiant.

"Even on a dry track I thought that whatever beats my bloke would win," Burles said.

"But he's an even better chance in the wet."

Burles assurance that The Cleaner can do no worse than second is based on more than wet ground and a trainer's parochialism.

The Cleaner has won 12 of his 24 starts, has been runner up five times and has never finished third.

His only failure in his past dozen starts came when he finished 10th in the Devonport Cup, Burles putting the rare disappointment down to the synthetic track.

"He hates that track, he doesn't seem to like the way it moves under his feet," Burles said.

"But at the same time, he doesn't mind at all if it's wet."

The trainer also believes the Mowbray track will suit a bold front-runner like The Cleaner better than when he finished second last start to Hurdy Gurdy Man two weeks ago in the Hobart Cup.

"He's got a two-kilo pull in the weights on Hurdy Gurdy Man and he's better off at Mowbray because there's more corners. They have to work harder to get around him," he said.

The Cleaner is a firming second favourite for the Launceston feature with $4.60 available on race eve with the Darren Weir-trained Hurdy Gurdy Man solid at $2.60.

Another local, Geegees Blackflash, is on the third line at $5.50 along with the Victorian Lucky Angel.

John Luttrell, the trainer of Geegees Blackflash, the third home in the Hobart Cup, said he has come to Launceston in better shape than at his last start.

"He's got a good barrier and he's really switched on for this one," Luttrell said.

"But the thing with him always is weight - he's carried big weights all his life."


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