Trainer Mick Burles has admitted to shedding a tear at losing The Cleaner to another trainer.
“The horse is easy to train but you can’t train owners,” Burles told RSN on Tuesday.
“In my opinion, the horse should be retired. They reckon he should win the Melbourne Cup, it’s just greed.”
The Cleaner disappointed when beating one horse home behind The Admiral when resuming in the Listed Conquering Stakes over 1400m at Launceston last Wednesday as the $1.60 favourite.
“It’s the first bad race he’s run for me, apart from the first couple when he didn’t know what he was doing,” Burles said.
“The track rider told the owners he’d had mucus running out of his nose all week and coughing his guts out all week, but that wasn’t true.
“If it was, his blood wouldn’t have been much bloody good and his blood was perfect on Tuesday morning.”
Burles believes there are deeper issues with The Cleaner.
“Quite honestly, there’s something wrong with him, he run off in the Cox Plate and he run off in the race the other night,” Burles said.
“It’s going to take a lot of finding. You can’t just flex him up, he’d have to be x-rayed and scanned, all that crap. It might be a little bone chip, it could be anything. He could be worn out, the horse has earned $1.3 million.
“Sending him to Melbourne they think they can improve him – didn’t they learn anything with Robert Smerdon, he’s one of the best trainers in Australia. He got homesick there and come home 60 kilograms lighter.”
Burles said the relationship with the owners, his golfing friends, was over.
“I don’t want them near me. When greed comes into play then they can piss off. They didn’t even know the name of the trainer he was going to for God’s sake,” Burles said.
“I’m on top of my health and it’s going real good, they can’t use that as an excuse.
“When you’ve got good mates and then they want to become trainers – I can’t do anything about that.
“Owners have got rights to things, they own the bloody horse, but I just think they are wrong.”