Unpretentious Stars for Stratum
Lightly raced Stratum gelding Unpretentious has been off the scene for 47 weeks, but was turned out in top order at Caulfield on Saturday to win the Group II MRC Schillaci Stakes, while Stratum three year-old Divine Calling was a gallant second in the Group I MRC Caulfield Guineas.
Prepared by Nikki Burke, Unpretentious was tuned up with a recent Cranbourne barrier trial win and was fit, but fresh for this 1000 metre dash.
He settled back in the small field for Damien Oliver and finished with a well-timed run to edge out Pago Rock and win the prestigious sprint by a head.
“He’s had so much bad luck, he should have won five or six races,” said Nikki Burke.
“I always knew he was a good horse and now he’s ready to fulfil on that promise.”
The Group I VRC Patinack Farm Classic over 1200 metres at Flemington is on the agenda for Unpretentious.
“He’s 100% sound and strong now and I can’t wait to get to Flemington,” Burke added.
Passed in shy of his $60,000 reserve when offered by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds at the 2010 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Unpretentious was retained to race by his co-breeder Shane Stiles in partnership with a large group of owners and has won four of 11 starts earning nearly $300,000 in prizemoney.
Unpretentious is the second winner for Favorite Trick (USA) mare Alisa Free, a half-sister to Group I winner Rockabubble.
Alisa Free was covered by Stratum again last spring.
Unpretentious is one of 20 stakes-winners for Stratum, who also went close in another couple of important stakes races with his three year old son Divine Calling finishing second in the Group I MRC Caulfield Guineas to Long John and his four year-old daughter Queenstown also second in the Group III ATC Angst Stakes behind Sharnee Rose.