The horse that became a cult hero through his deeds for Tasmanian trainer Mick Burles is on track to make his debut for his new Victorian stable.
The Cleaner is scheduled to return to racing in the P B Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield on August 13.
Now in the care Peter Gelagotis at Moe, The Cleaner took another step towards his first-up run, winning a 1000m trial on the Cranbourne synthetic track on Monday.
Gelagotis took over the training of the rising nine-year-old late last year after Burles recommended the gelding be retired.
Steven Arnold, who won the 2014 Feehan Stakes and JRA Cup on the gelding, guided The Cleaner to a six-length win in his trial and will partner him in his first-up assignment.
Arnold said The Cleaner’s action felt great and he still had the enthusiasm for racing.
“I had a sit on him in a jump-out here a couple of weeks ago and he was nice but he picked it up another step today,” Arnold said.
“His fitness has improved and his action is really good.
“He cornered really well as he can get out a little bit and he’s at a stage to run well.”
Arnold expects The Cleaner to have another trial before his first-up run on August 13.
“We know he’s a front-running horse so I suppose he’s got to be pretty fit to race that style,” Arnold said.
“I’ve had a couple of sits on him so I’ll ride him first-up and if he can stay on track like this I think he’ll run well.”
Gelagotis and his racing manager brother Manny declined to be interviewed following The Cleaner’s trial win because of a disagreement with Racing Victoria’s integrity unit.
Manny Gelagotis was fined earlier this year for comments he made on social media criticising an RV vet for passing Mourinho fit to run after the horse was kicked behind the barrier before the C F Orr Stakes in February.