Corner pockets the Chester Manifold

1 January 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

Corner Pocket has returned to form winning the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington.

Jockey Declan Bates has continued his remarkable association with Corner Pocket claiming a second stakes race win at Flemington.

Corner Pocket took out the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) on Sunday to register his ninth career win from 16 starts.

Bates has been aboard the Lindsey Smith-trained galloper in all nine of those victories which also saw Corner Pocket go on a winning streak over an 18-month period from last 2020 to claim eight straight wins. 

"I just love this horse," Bates said. 

"I don't get too attached to many of them, but I have a soft spot for this fella. 

"He's so honest. He's the most straight forward horse you can ride. 

"You can put him anywhere. You can give him a dig, pull back and when you go for him, the more you ask, he will put his life on the line for you." 

Digging deep in the run to line, Corner Pocket scored a half-length win from last year's Chester Manifold runner-up Looks Like Elvis with the favourite Pal D'Oro a further three-quarters-of-a-length away third. 

Shane Jackson, Smith's assistant trainer, said weight had stopped Bates from riding the gelding in his past two starts. 

Apprentice Thomas Stockdale rode Corner Pocket when second at Pakenham on December 3 and fourth over Sunday's course and distance on December 17. 

"He was in a few races where he got a lot of weight and we played around and put a claimer on him twice, but things didn't work out," Jackson said. 

"It was not the jockey's fault, it was circumstance, but Declan is definitely the key to this horse. 

"He knows him inside out and rides him accordingly. 

"It's great to see him back winning and he's a lovely horse to have around the stable." 

Jackson said he was unsure of immediate plans for Corner Pocket after taking his prize money beyond the $500,000 mark. 

"We'll leave that to Lindsay, but we're thrilled to get this horse back on the winning list," Jackson said.