23 October 2014
Tasmania’s most popular horse will depart the state tonight (Thursday 23 October) on Spirit of Tasmania to compete in the Cox Plate on Saturday 25 October.
Part-owner Bill Fawdry will accompany the horse along with trainer Mick Burles from Longford to Devonport today where The Cleaner will get ready to set sail for the third richest race in Australia behind the Melbourne Cup.
Bill said the The Cleaner travels well on Spirit of Tasmania and is looking forward to the journey tonight.
Mr Fawdry said he was “surprisingly calm” in the final days leading up to the event. “I will be nervous when he turns for home in the race – that’s if he’s still leading – and he will be –that’s what he does.”
When asked, Bill said he did believe in superstitions: “I have always had this one superstition - and trainer Mick Burles has too - that you can’t wear anything green around the horse. I don’t know why that is so!”
Bill is still overwhelmed by the amount of publicity and popularity The Cleaner has received.
“We never expected him to be as popular - guess it’s because he’s a front runner and everyone can see him”.
Bill believes The Cleaner will run the race of his life. “He is fit, if not fitter than he has ever been.”
Asked what his final words will be to The Cleaner before his race, Mr Fawdry said:” I always pat him on his neck and say to him ‘good luck mate, go get em’, I say this to the rider too.”
The Cleaner will travel back on Spirit of Tasmania on Sunday 26 October.
Contact: Soniya Fernandez