Craig Williams riding Unpretentious wins the MSS Security Sprint during 2012 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 6, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.
Craig Williams riding Unpretentious wins the MSS Security Sprint during 2012 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 6, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. Michael Dodge / Getty Images

Unpretentious gains strength in preparation for Newmarket

TALENTED sprinter Unpretentious has had so much trouble with his back he even has his own chiropractor.

But trainer Nikki Burke hopes the fact the four-year-old has strengthened up during a spell will allow him to put his best foot forward during the big sprints in Melbourne in the next couple of months.

Burke said the Stratum gelding's main target would be the $1million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9.

"It's all good at this stage, he looks better in himself than what he did in the Spring. He's a lot stronger which hopefully means he'll improve a little bit," Burke said.

"He'll trial February 4 at Cranbourne and I'll just see how he trials and what Craig Williams thinks before making any final decisions.

"His main target is the Newmarket but I'd like him to have a lead up run which ideally would be three to four weeks before the Newmarket to give him enough time to get over the run."

That could see the galloper resume in either the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 9 or the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 16, a race earmarked for the return of champion mare Black Caviar.

Unpretentious turned in a blistering performance to come from last to win the Miss Security Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day last year on a track that heavily favoured front runners.

Burke said that style of racing was clearly better suited to Flemington.

"He gets back and gets himself into a bit of trouble so I'm not sure if Caulfield is really his track," she said.

"Ideally I want to give him a lead in, and if that's the Lightning then so be it. You certainly wouldn't be going there thinking he's a winning chance though by any means."
 


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