MOONEE Valley has a cult hero heading into the Cox Plate. The Cleaner bandwagon is overflowing as the ‘Lion Of Longford’ added the JRA Cup to his ever increasing profile tonight at Moonee Valley.


The pride of Tasmania once again led his rivals a merry dance as he defied all would be challengers to claim the Group 3 race.


Moonee Valley afforded The Cleaner a hero’s welcome as Steve Arnold  brought the seven-year-old back to a thunderous ovation.


“They probably love him as much as I do,” trainer Mick Burles said.


“He’s a gutsy horse, he has a lot of guts and that’s what I like about him.”


Burles could not fathom why there was a query on The Cleaner running out the 2040 metres as he had won seven races over 2100 metres, albeit in Tasmania.


He said The Cleaner will return to Tasmania, spend a week in a paddock near his Longford stables then gear up for the $3 million Sportingbet Cox Plate on October 25.


“We will give him three weeks work and he’ll be right,” Burles said.


“Nothing is going to change with him.”


Asked about heading into a Cox Plate, Burles said: “It hasn’t hit home yet, but it will about a week before.


The Cleaner, $5.50, scored by a head from the luckless Sangster, $31, with a neck to Mourinho, $4.60, third.