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Sheema Classic: Obrigado in focus
by Handicappers / Globeform
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Obrigado’s name was noted down under ’Days best performance’, ’Better still to come’ and ’Make an note of this name’ in our Santa Anita Special after the San Marcos (G2) in January.

OBRIGADO (Enrique) Globeform 116+

He was finishing well that day, under a tough weight for a 4yo, and checked in third behind One Off and the ex-English Notable Guest.

He reversed the form as they met again in the 12-furlong San Luis Obispo Handicap (G2) a month later – where Obrigado was a game winner. He now takes a step up in class, in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1). Exactly where does he stand, compared to the likes of Vengeance Of Rain, Red Rocks and Sir Percy?

He has performed to a respectable Globeform 116+ and – given that he is relatovely lightly raced – perhaps he is able to move up again? After racing in third early in the San Luis Obispo, close to Notable Guest but many lengths behind the ridiculous pacesetter Bravo Maestro (who met the wall on the final turn and faded to last), Obrigado soon looked a danger to all. The two favorites moved in tandem on the home turn, and came neck ’n’ neck into the stretch. Obrigado took control, as his stamina came into play and Notbale Guest tired. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Obrigado ran on well – and so he had to, as One Off and On The Acorn both stayed on to put maximum pressure on himin the closing stages. He prevailed by half a length over One Off, who was disqualified for having intereferred with On the Acorn. These two traded placings in the Stewards’ room.

Obrigado, who is trained by Neil Drysdale, was runner-up to Showing Up in the Hollywood Derby (G1) last November, and the San Luis Obispo was his first win in a graded stakes. He won a minor event in France at two, when trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias, and he took the Oceanside Stakes over a mile at Del Mar last summer.

This 4-year-old has a positive form profile. He has to improve again to be up with the best in the Sheema Classic, but make note of two points; Drysdale is a very conservative trainer – not exactly known for overmatching his horses – and Obrigado is one of the most likely improvers in the field.

Last update: 2007-03-26 14:48:31 (First published: 2007-03-26 14:29:15 )

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