LONGFORD trainer Mick Burles said he was thinking of retiring until he met The Cleaner.
Burles said he had trained hundreds of horses since the start of his career in 1977, but saw something special in the now five-year-old thoroughbred.
``I was going to retire until I saw how good he was,'' Burles said.
``I've had a few good ones over the years, but this fella is the best I've ever had.''
The Cleaner will be racing in the Launceston Cup today and Burles said he had high hopes for him.
``I think he will run really, really well - his work has been good and they can't ask for any more than he has done, he was a bit unlucky at the Hobart Cup,'' Burles said.
The Cleaner has won 12 of his 24 races including one win at Sandown in Victoria last year and came second a few weeks ago in the Hobart Cup to Hurdy Gurdy Man, narrowly beating his arch-rival Geegees Blackflash.
But no matter his placing today in the Launceston Cup, Burles said The Cleaner would only improve.
``I definitely think he will be a better horse next year, more mature, stronger,'' Burles said.
He said it was the horse's temperament that made him so special.
``He is just beautiful, you could put a little two-year-old kid on him and he wouldn't do nothing, he loves people,'' Burles said.
After today, Burles plans on resting The Cleaner for three months before training him for another three months then taking him to Melbourne for the spring racing carnival.
``He'd be sound to race for another four years yet,'' Burles said. ``When he retires so will I.''