Warrnambool trained Corner Pocket has stretched his winning sequence to eight with a first-up win in the Listed Elms Handicap at Flemington.
Having his first start since August, Corner Pocket defied a betting drift in the 1400m contest to register his eighth win from 10 starts, along with two minor placings.
Ridden by Declan Bates Corner Pocket ($7.50) ran down the leader Morvada ($21) to score by three-quarters-of-a-length with the $4.40 favourite Mr Brightside a length away third.
Shane Jackson, representing trainer Lindsey Smith, said Corner Pocket the Listed race on Saturday was a test to assess what level the gelding was at.
“He lifts the bar everytime he goes to the races,” Jackson said.
“He produces when you need him, but he’s a casual customer at home, however he’s a trier and you’d love to have a stable full of them.
“Today was a test to see what level he was at. We had a benchmark 90 with a claim that we had pencilled in in a couple of weeks’ time had he run a place, so now we know he’s at that better level.”
Jackson said where Corner Pocket headed to next would be decided by Smith after he sees how the gelding recovers from Saturday’s win.
Bates, who has ridden Corner Pocket in nine of his 10 outings, said the gelding had come back a bigger and better galloper this campaign.
“His last couple of gallops he really gave me the impression that he’s gone to the next level,” Bates said.
“But I didn’t want to say that out loud until I saw him do it, and today I think he duly has.
“He doesn’t do any more than you ask and every time the bar has been raised, he’s gone and won.
“He’s getting to the point where he is earning a tilt at a very good race.”