Another dashing ride by Damien Oliver on Unpretentious saw the in-form jockey win back to races with a win in the Group 2 $220,000 Schweppes Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield today.
Oliver produced a carbon copy ride that saw him take out the previous race, the $250,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire (1200m) on the Mick Price trained Lion Of Belfort.
Race favourite Kuroshio was quick out of the barriers as expected but was unable to cross Snitzem, and the pair set up a solid pace while Oliver settled Unpretentious back in field.
In the straight Oliver had to bide his time before easing the Nikki Burke trained five year old into the clear before running to the lead to score by a neck over Pago Rock.
Burke was relieved to see Unprententious win at Group 2 level after the gelding has had to overcome many setbacks to show his full potential.
“There’s a lot of pressure off,” Burke said.
“A thousand metres was always going to be a bit of a worry, but I can’t wait to get him to Flemington now,” Burke said.
“He’s had so much bad luck. He’s just a really unlucky horse. He should have won five or six races. He’s always had it there. Craig and I have always known how good he is and hopefully now he is ready to fulfil it.”
The Cranbourne trainer will now head to Flemington for the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) on November 9.
Burke said that Unpretentious is free of any major fitness problems and will head to Flemington in top order.
“He’s a hundred per cent sound, strong and grown up and hopefully he is ready to go.”
Oliver was pleased to win a race for Burke and gave the young trainer a great wrap.
“It’s great to win a good race for Nikki Burke. She is one of the hardest workers you ever seen, she’s a great trainer and it’s good to win a good race for her.”
Unpretentious started the $4 second favourite, beating Pago Rock at $9 with the $2.40 favourite Kurishio fading in the straight to run third after hitting the front at the 250m.