Time is running out for Cranbourne trainer Nikki Burke to get her stable star Unpretentious back to full fitness for a shot at the 2013 The Goodwood in Adelaide next month after the injury-prone galloper suffered another setback earlier this autumn.
The four-year-old Stratum gelding has won three of their 10 starts to date displaying plenty of promise but also having had their career plagued by injuries and other obstacles.
They enjoyed a strong spring last season on the back of a five month spell with a first-up romp by six lengths at Ballarat followed by their biggest success to date, a win in the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
Finishing their campaign with a good third to Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap winner Mid Summer Music in the Listed Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on November 17, Unpretentious was to have resumed racing in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on Easter Saturday, Mach 30.
They were however scratched from the field just minutes before jump time in a blow for Burke who is now racing against the clock to have them right for a trip to Morphettville during the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival where they would target the $500,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 11 – a race won last season by superlative sprinter Black Caviar.
“He had a torn near-side gluteal as well as pretty bad soft tissue damage to the lower pelvic region on his near-side,” she said.
“Michael Bryant (chiropractor) went over him yesterday and he was happy with how the gluteal has repaired but the other injury still hasn’t healed.
“We’ve got another week to try and get him right and if I can’t I’ll just turn him out and get him ready for the Spring.”
A half-sister to Unpretentious will fly the flag for Burke this week with Royal Academy filly She’s Pretentious accepted for both the $35,000 Superior Food Services 0 – 68 Handicap (1000m) at Sandown on Wednesday and a $17,500 maiden sprint over 1200m at Ballarat on Thursday which is looking the preferred option.
“Probably the 1200 at Ballarat is a better option (for her debut run) but I’d just love to run her at Sandown on the big track where she’s less likely to find trouble as she’s a great big lanky thing. I just wish it was a maiden there,” Burke said.
Hoping to see something special in the unraced filly Burke was quick to admit that she didn’t think they would prove to be as brilliant as their older half-brother Unpretentious.
“She’s nothing like her half-brother, she’s a bit dopey but she’s going good and worked well on Saturday morning,” Burke said.
“She’s always shown me glimpses and I’ve just had to keep turning her out and turning her out but this time in work she’s had two trials and the other day with the blinkers on she trialled really well.”
For access to all the best Group 1 racing odds both in Sydney and Adelaide over the next month make sure you have an account open with the country’s premier betting agency bookmaker.com.au who will also match your first deposit 100 percent up to $500 this autumn when you use the exclusive code BONUSBET!