The 2014 McEwen Stakes odds of Unpretentious have shortened in the past 24 hours and the tough sprinter has been the best-backed runner to beat resuming superstar in the Group 2 event at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Unpretentious opened at a quote of $14 in McEwen Stakes betting markets, but the Stratum gelding is now into $11 to score an upset win, while Lankan Rupee has drifted out to $1.26 after he opened at $1.20 earlier in the week.
Lankan Rupee is clearly the horse to beat in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) and he defeated Unpretentious by seven and a half lengths in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing, but trainer Nikki Burke told RSN that she is happy with the condition of her star sprinter and is confident that he will run well this weekend.
“I am looking forward to it and I couldn’t be happier with him,” Burke said.
“He hasn’t had a trial leading into this, but he had a gallop in between the races at Cranbourne and that brought him on.
“He is sound as he has been, he is really well and it is a stepping stone and a nice race for him to start off in.
“He has thickened up and I am really happy with him.
“This will bring him on a lot and he should come out of this with a lot of improvement, but in saying that I think that he has done enough work.”
Unpretentious did not record a win during his autumn preparation, but he was far from disgraced in his four race starts at the highest level of racing.
The Stratum gelding resumed with a fast-finishing fifth in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 15 and was well-backed in the lead-up to the Newmarket Handicap, but finished a disappointing ninth.
Unpretentious looked as though he was going to record his maiden win at Group 1 level when he loomed as the winner in the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 21, but he died on his run in the final stages of the race to finish third behind Spirit Of Boom and Fontelina and he was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished a game seventh in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 10.
Eloping ($8.50) is on the second line of the McEwen Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia, while Cauthen ($16), Angelic Light ($19) and Orujo ($19) are all available at double figure McEwen Stakes odds.