It was in Launceston in February 2011 that battling horse trainer Mick Burles and a gelding called The Cleaner began their racetrack journey that was to make its mark on the landscape of the Australian turf. The Cleaner, bought two years earlier at a yearling sale for just $10,000 by three of Burles' golfing mates when the trainer didn't have the money himself, finished 13th in a field of 14 maidens. The first-up flop went onto win 19 of his 54 races for Burles and earn more than $1.3 million in prize money.Much loved as battlers in a world of bluebloods, Mick and The Cleaner would garner a cult-like following, with fanfare at a frenzy in 2014 when the horse Mick called Bill became the first Tasmanian-trained runner in the Cox Plate. By the time their partnership ended just over a year (and another run in the Cox Plate) later, the two underdogs were national identies, with some likening the partnership to that of Tommy Woodcock and the legend Phar Lap.In December 2015, Mick's world was torn apart when the same friends who stepped into buy the horse when Burles didn't have "10 grand", sacked him and removede The Cleaner from the stables he had called home for close to seven years. In Mick and The Cleaner, the remarkable rise of the two unlikely heroes, and all the facts of how and why this pair were split, is exclusively revealed. -- Peter Staples has worked in the print and electronic media for over 30 years. He has been the racing journalist with the Tasmanian racing industry's governing body for the past 12 years and prior to that he was a journalist with The Mercury.