By RON GURNEY
Obrigado enhanced his prospects for the Taranaki feature race on Saturday with a stylish final trial at Awapuni this morning.
Fast work was held on the plough (good) or on the No 1 grass (slow).
Obrigado used the plough and had stable apprentice Faye Lazet aboard over a quiet round and a half before galloping 1000m on the second circuit in 1.8 even, the last 600 in 38.5.
The Fully Fledged gelding was a winner at Waverley three starts ago and had excuses in his last two outings when out of the money both times.
The 3210 metres on Saturday should suit him down to the ground, and he earned plenty of admirers this morning. New Plymouth apprentice Callum Jones, who claims 3kg, rides him for the first time.
Time honours on the plough went to promising maiden Maebhs Razeel (by Redwood) and un-raced three-year-old gelding Platinum Assault (Sir Prancealot), who were paired over 800m in 50.9, the last 600 in 37.3.
Parisian Poppy and Son Of Thunder were on terms throughout 800m in 51.5, the last 600 in 37.5, while Hungry and a Sooboog-Moohariba gelding took 51.9 and 38.1. All four are trained by Mike Breslin.
Fattore Otto, balloted out of the r65 1800m at Taranaki, ran 1000m in 1.8.4, the last 600 in 39 even, and Ted Can Too clocked 1.8.2 and 39.9. Fattore Otto rates a good chance if he regains the field.
Colorado Star, whose long-range target is the Coupland's Mile at Riccarton in November, was timed 800m in 54.4, the last 600 in 40.2. He is coming to hand well judging by his second placing at the Foxton trials (1000m) last week.
Reign It In, nominated for the 2000 Guineas in November, worked alone over 800m in 55.1, the last 600 in 40.4, and he was impressive winning at the Foxton trials (1000m).
Putorino, who has not raced since the autumn either, ran 800m in 53.3, the last 600 in 40.7, while his stablemates Bradman and Town Cryer recorded a steady 56.9 and 42.2.
Bradman won at the Foxton trials (1000m) last Thursday, and Town Cryer placed second (1200m). Both horses should enjoy a rewarding spring.
On the No 1 grass, Lincoln Raider covered 800m in 54.5, the last 600 in 39.6, and is nominated for the Coupland's Mile in November.
Champagne Sunday (by Vespa), a maiden winner during the autumn, ran 1000m in 1.9.6, the last 600 in 39.5, while his stablemates Wild Moose and Splodge went together in 1.10.6 and 39.6.
Durham Lad, beaten a lip at the Foxton trials (850m) last week, ended 800m with 600 in 40.2, He has not raced since finishing fourth at Te Rapa at the end of July.
Bridal Veil (by Niagara), formerly trained by Jamie-Lee Lupton, did a quiet round and a half before galloping 1000m on the second circuit in 1.11.5, the last 600 in 42 even. The mare is now trained by jumps jockey Shaun Fannin.
Taranaki entrant Master Fin (r74 3210m) was not after time over 800m in 59.5, the last 600 in 43.9. He won the New Plymouth feature last year after three successive placings over hurdles.
The 10-year-old was disappointing over hurdles at Te Aroha last Sunday, but the Dead-6 track conditions were against him.
Levin apprentice Ashvin Mudhoo rides him on Saturday with a 3kg claim, and the horse should not be under-rated.