Finally living up to the opinion of their Cranbourne-based trainer Nikki Burke, the always honest Unpretentious scored a deserved Group win at Caulfield today taking out the Schillaci Stake 2013 on way to a possible shot at the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
One of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s better weight-for-age sprints, the $220,000 Group 2 Schweppes Schillaci Stakes (1000m) was the maiden Group success for luckless Stratum gelding Unpretentious.
Because of their ‘get-back’ style in races the five-year-old hasn’t enjoyed a lot of luck, much to the dismay of their hard-working trainer Burke who has always known they had a Group win in them.
“He’s had so much bad luck,” Burke said on TVN after the win today.
“A really unlucky horse, he probably should have won five or six races.”
First-up off an 11 month break, Unpretentious looks ready to fulfill their potential this prep after their gutsy resuming win where they had to dig deep and answer a strong challenge from the David Hayes-trained Pago Rock.
After the likes of race favourite Kuroshio and Snitzem took up the early lead, Unpretentious and their jockey Damien Oliver made their move with around 200m to go getting every chance.
Pago Rock flew through with them and the pair battled it out stride-for-stride heading to the line.
After Pago Rock just got ahead, Oliver asked for a bit more from his mount and Unpretentious answered, digging deep and holding on in a narrow finish.
Kuroshio held on for third but couldn’t match a good strong win from a good horse in Unprententious whose class kicked in at the end.
“Thank God, that’s all I can say,” a relieved Burke said.
“A lot of pressure off now.
“The 1000 metres was always going to be a bit of a worry.
“I can’t wait to get him to Flemington now.”
At Flemington the 2013 Patinack Farm Classic on Emirates Stakes Day, Saturday November 9, awaits which will be a real acid test for Burke’s stable ace.
“I’ve always known how good he is,” she said.
“Hopefully now he’s ready to fulfill it.
“He always has a few little muscle problems but basically he’s 100 percent sound and strong and grown up and hopefully he’s ready to go.
“More than likely the Patinack (will be next).”
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2013 Schillaci Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 4 – 12/10/2013
|1||6||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Damien Oliver||–||1||58.5kg||$4|
|2||3||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||0.2L||3||58.5kg||$9|
|3||9||KUROSHIO||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||2.45L||8||53kg||$2.40F|
|4||4||VATICAN||Byron Cozamanis||Billy Egan||3.2L||7||58.5kg||$11|
|5||1||BROKEN||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||3.95L||5||58.5kg||$13|
|6||7||SMACKDOWN (NZ)||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||4.25L||6||58.5kg||$31|
|7||8||ANABAA’S LEGACY (NZ)||Dean Binaisse||Brett Prebble||6L||4||56.5kg||$61|
|8||5||SNITZEM||Leon Corstens||Glen Boss||14L||2||58.5kg||$11|
|SB||2||GREY MONARCH||Ricardo Meunier||Cory Parish||–||9||58.5kg||$301|