Feb 15, 2018
NEWCASTLE: Thursday, February 15, 2018: DUAL venue acceptors Let’s Get Nauti Gal and Karavali are likely to run at Canterbury tomorrow night.
Kris Lees indicated this afternoon that he was leaning toward starts for the pair at the night fixture rather than at home and Royal Randwick respectively on Saturday.
Let’s Get Nauti Gal (Benchmark 72 Handicap, 1550m) and Karavali (Benchmark 80 Handicap, 1550m) are both mounts for apprentice Jean Van Overmeire, who can claim 3kg in town.
The allowance is very handy in both cases, as Let’s Get Nauti Gal will drop to 54kg, and Karavali from her 59.5kg topweight to 56.5kg.
Whilst the former is racing against her own sex, Karavali is taking on all comers first-up.
Lees considers Let’s Get Nauti Gal, a three-year-old filly by Harbour Watch, deserves another chance back in town.
Her three metropolitan starts were as a two-year-old last season; her best performance being a third to subsequent Golden Slipper runner-up Frolic in the Inglis Classic (1200m) at Randwick 12 months ago.
“Let’s Get Nauti Gal has come back well, and I don’t think she will have any trouble coping with the 1550m,” Lees said.
“The 3kg allowance is a plus, and she is by no means out of the race.”
Let’s Get Nauti Gal scored first-up at Muswellbrook in a 1280m Class 1 on January 12 before stepping up in class and finishing second with 56.5kg (conceding the winner 4kg) to Manhattan Road in a Class 3 (1500m) at Port Macquarie a fortnight later.
Former New Zealand mare Karavali, who did so well last campaign, kicks off a new preparation against seven rivals.
Karavali scored over 2000m at Randwick last October before finishing fourth to Vassal over 2400m at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight later.
She has had two trials to ready her for a resumption, and has won first-up previously (against her own sex against only six rivals over 1350m on a soft Beaumont surface last August).
“This is a good race to get her going,” Lees said. “She is at her best on soft ground (which isn’t likely at Canterbury) and has come back in good order.”
Promising three-year-old Nationality has been withdrawn from a Canterbury engagement to be saved for a race there on Wednesday.
Lees’ other Canterbury representatives tomorrow night are Kool Vinnie (1200m Benchmark 77 Handicap) and Not Surprising (1250m Benchmark 75 Handicap).
Tim Clark rides Kool Vinnie, whilst Sydney’s form jockey Brenton Avdulla (7 winners in two days this week) partners Not Surprising.
“Kool Vinnie has been freshened since his Warwick Farm failure on Australia Day last month when the race simply didn’t set up for him,” Lees said.
“He is back in distance and can definitely turn that form around.
“Not Surprising ran well at the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast and again when fourth at Canterbury a fortnight ago.
“There’s no reason why she can’t figure in the finish.”
With Let’s Get Nauti Gal likely to skip Newcastle on Saturday, Lees will be left with four runners: High Power (1400m Class 2 Handicap), Clevanicc (1200m Benchmark 68), Chilly Cha Cha and Unbridled Power (1400m F&M Class 2).
“High Power was plain first-up when third at Wyong, but is a well-bred colt who has trained on well,” Lees said.
“Clevanicc is first-up from a break, and raced really well when last in work. He keeps improving.
“Chilly Cha Cha is a very nice filly who won two in a row before spelling, the latest over 1850m here.
“Unbridled Power has been unlucky all preparation, finishing second at her three runs and was just beaten at Kembla Grange last week. She deserves better fortune.”
Chilly Cha Cha is an entry for the $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 14 during The Championships.