The Cleaner tomake his return

Mick Burles with The CleanerLONGFORD trainer Mick Burles has altered plans for The Cleaner and the eight-year-old will now resume from a spell at Caulfield on Saturday.

Burles had intended waiting for a race at Moonee Valley the following week but decided The Cleaner was ‘‘ready to go’’.

He will be shipped to Melbourne on Thursday night and run in the weight-for-age $200,000 P B Lawrence Stakes over 1400 metres.

‘‘It looks a good race for him, with my only reservation being that it’s at Caulfield,’’ Burles said.

‘‘He had his first run there when Robert Smerdon was training him and he finished near-last.

‘‘But he was crook and I had to bring him straight home.

‘‘The only time he’s been back was for the Easter Cup earlier this year when he ran a close fifth.

‘‘He sweated up badly before that race – I don’t know whether it was because he had bad memories of the place.’’

Burles has booked a new rider for The Cleaner as he embarks on a campaign aimed at a second start in the Cox Plate.

‘‘I’ve given Steve [Arnold] a rest because he’s ridden him eight times in a row and horses can get a bit too used to riders,’’ the trainer said.

‘‘I’ve booked Noel Callow for this week – he’s had one ride on him for one win.

‘‘Callow suits the horse because he can get them out of the gates [quickly].’’

Sod’s advice

A GOOD word from former Test cricketer and successful racehorse owner Simon O’Donnell was behind Dillon Hall’s move to Tasmania.

O’Donnell is a partner in OTI Racing, which owned Dillon Hall when he won two races in Victoria in July last year.

However, after 10 months without a win, Dillon Hall was put on the market and was recommended to Brighton trainer Gary White by a mate who had other horses in the Darren Weir stable.

‘‘I spoke to Simon O’Donnell to get an assessment of this horse and he suggested we would have a bit of fun with him in Tasmania,’’ White said.

Dillon Hall was having his third start for White when he won the Benchmark 62 Handicap at Spreyton on Sunday.

‘‘He found the 1175 metres too short at his first run here, then he got beaten a nose by a nose at his next start after copping some interference in the back straight,’’ White said.

‘‘He came again after being headed in that race so Damien [Thornton] suggested we swap his blinkers for a visor so he could see the other horses coming at him.’’

The gear change worked and, despite running about a bit in the closing stages on Sunday, Dillon Hall scored a comfortable win.

White said he was always philosophical about getting horses from leading Victorian stables.

‘‘You can’t improve on Darren Weir and you don’t have to – you just have to get them racing as well,’’ the trainer said.

Positive swab

THE old problem of horses eating feed contaminated by poppy seeds is about to rear its head in Tasmania again.

A thoroughbred trainer with a positive swab will provide evidence that his horse ate feed grown in a paddock previously used for poppy production.

In previous cases in Tasmania, the horse has been disqualified from the race but no action taken against the trainer.

That can’t happen in this case because the swab was taken at the trials.

Just short

LEADING reinsman Gareth Rattray has seemingly run out of time to bring up a century of winners for the third time in his career.

Rattray’s win on Last Guy Standing at Mowbray on Sunday night was his 91st for the season but there are only three meetings remaining.

Rattray drove 113 winners in 2007-08 and 115 winners in 2009-10. He has also finished in nineties three times.

Rohan Hillier has moved clear on the trainers’ premiership with 43 wins, ahead of Juanita McKenzie on 36 and Barrie Rattray and Nathan Ford on 35.

Tassie flicked

EVERYTHING comes at a price – even the welcome return to Sky Channel of Victorian racing.

Although one of the minor jumps races at Ballarat on Sunday started 4 minutes late, Sky 1 still gave it preference over a race at Devonport that started spot on time, yet got flicked to Sky 2.

As it turned out, Sky 1 would have had ample time to show the Devonport race and still cross back to Ballarat for pre-race comments.

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