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Nauti Gal gets shot at Widden Stakes upset

If yearling sales show the haves and have-nots of racing, Lets Get Nauti Gal has the chance to illustrate that price is not a definite indication of ability in the Widden Stakes.

A $10,000 yearling, Lets Get Nauti Gal was sent to Newcastle trainer Kris Lees who has decided to give her a chance in Saturday’s Group Three race over 1100m at Rosehill.

He admits the race shapes as a tough test for the two-year-old filly who raced greenly when runner-up on debut at Scone on January 15.

“I wanted to get her on a big track,” Lees said.

“The Widden Stakes could be a bridge too far but she was nice on debut, albeit she still got beat at Scone.”

Lees says the race is nicely timed as a lead-up to the $250,000 sales-restricted Inglis Classic at Randwick on February 11.

“I’m not going to Rosehill with great aspirations but she’ll go on to the Inglis Classic all being well,” Lees said.

“She’s a relatively cheap buy so hopefully she can pay her way.”

Her rivals include the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Boorooj who went for $750,000 and is by Exceed And Excel out of 2003 Flight Stakes winner Unearthly.

While syndicators Darby Racing are known for their shrewd buys, Mystic Empire’s $140,000 price tag is in their upper range.

The Gary Portelli-trained Sebring Express is Lets Get Nauti’s cheapest rival, with syndicators Elite Thoroughbreds paying $60,000 for her.

The Widden runners which didn’t pass through a sale ring are raced by high-profile owner-breeders including the Ingham family, Emirates Park, John Messara, John Singleton and Godolphin.

Savatiano will represent Godolphin in the race after finishing sixth in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on January 10.

“We quite like her, but it could just be a matter of whether she’s sharp enough,” Godolphin trainer John O’Shea said.

“I expect her to take a little time to find her feet and then to attack the line.”

The Michael Freedman-trained Teaspoon has been installed the $5.50 favourite, while Lets Get Nauti Gal is the rank outsider, rated a $35 chance.

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