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While there are some single stand-outs or, at least, “boat races” on Saturday’s card where punters can short-select with confidence, the Cartier Sceptre Stakes (G2) over 1200m is deeply contentious with half the field of 16 fillies and mares in with legit chances.

(Image of GOLDEN HOSTESS by Chase Liebenberg)

Hollywoodbets Diana Stakes winner, GOLDEN HOSTESS has an excellent turn of foot and an edge as the best weighted on official merit ratings, plus she loves the Hollywoodbets Kenilworth 1200m straight course. But she tends to mix her form and will need plenty of luck given her late-running style in a congested field.

(Image of OCTOBER MORN by Chase Liebenberg)

Another Candice Bass Robinson entry, OCTOBER MORN has been unfortunate the last two occasions; with clear passages she might have won both the Laisserfaire and Southern Cross Stakes. Perhaps it could be third time lucky as Raymond Danielson gets the ride and this time has an extra furlong to find the gaps. The TRIPPI filly is certainly good enough to mix it with the best sprinting fillies around, so rates a solid each way play at 4/1.

(Image of WINTER CLOUD by Chase Liebenberg)

Bass, who has a genuinely strong hand here, also saddles WINTER CLOUD who threw in a real clunker in early November and has been rested since. She has a good record fresh and was right near the top of her generation at two, with only reopposing MRS GERIATRIX able to put her in her place in the G1 Allan Robertson. Her penultimate start thrashing of ONI SAN, to whom she was conceding 7.5kgs suggests that – barring the aberration in November – this daughter of WHAT A WINTER remains a top-quality filly.

(Image of MRS GERIATRIX by Chase Liebenberg)

Critics may say MRS GERIATRIX has not quite trained on, though she showed renewed vigour when coming from miles back in the World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas after a dud try in the Western Cape Fillies Champs.

It would be foolish to discount either WINTER CLOUD or MRS GERIATRIX even if their records at three are spotty and unconvincing.

Consistent mare, KWINTA’S LIGHT, won the Southern Cross in a blanket finish over SHANTASTIC and THREE ROCKS with the luckless OCTOBER MORN under a length away in fourth. KISS ME CAPTAIN petered out tamely in that race, and is better judged on her fluent penultimate defeat of COUNTDOWN. All these entries have similar ratings and will be competitive under the weight for age conditions.

RASCOVA continues to acquit herself admirably – she went start to finish over DOUBLE GRAND SLAM in the falsely paced Fillies Champs, then found BEACH BOMB and SILVER SANCTUARY too strong in the World Sports Betting Fillies Guineas. She’ll again give a good sight racing handy, though on juvenile form she has a few lengths to find with Winter Cloud and MRS GERIATRIX.

SECRET IDENTITY was only just behind her in the World Sports Betting Fillies Guineas, while talented if erratic older filly, GIMME A SHOT, will be primed third run after a rest and is yet another in with a shake on her best tries.

JUST BE LEKKER ran well to FEATHER BOA in early October on the Highveld, and though her Cape runs have been below that level, she too cannot be summarily dismissed. Likewise, RIPPLE EFFECT was not a factor in the Southern Cross Stakes, yet came close to upsetting MRS GERIATRIX as a juvenile, so has plenty raw ability.

Proven winner over further, ASIYE PHAMBILI and speedy GOLDEN TATJANA complete this closely clustered field in what is a treacherous start to the P6

The off time of the Cartier Sceptre Stakes is 14h15.

Images by Chase Liebenberg