Veteran pacer Washmepockets will go to war again tonight in the aptly named Battle Of The Claimers final at harness racing's Melton headquarters. The 11 year old gelding wound back the clock with a convincing win in his heat of the $20,000 series on Saturday night and looks to have a genuine each way chance in tonight's stanza.
Washmepockets latest win was just reward for a string of solid performances of late and the pint-sized pacer was the medium of good support in his heat eventually starting favourite with punters.
Settling behind the leader from his second row draw, Washmepockets travelled keenly in the run and sprinted quickly in the home straight to win from Soho Monza and Loveable Larrikin in a slick 1:55:5 mile rate.
Trained by Charlie Wootton at the Cranbourne Training Complex, "Pockets" has faced the starter on 209 occasions and has recorded 21 wins for stake earnings of more than $250,000.
Connections will go to Melton with mixed feelings knowing that the horse may find its way to another stable if "claimed" for his nominated claiming price of $12,000.
"He's been a wonderful little horse and there is always the possibilty that someone might claim him on Friday night," explained co-trainer Viv Tomren. "I think there has been a little bit of interest in the horse given his record. I'll just have to tell anyone who asked that he is really old and frail," Tomren joked.
By David Scott
Photo: Stuart McCormick 0409 688 826