Ken Nicol: It isn’t often the suggested best bet on the card jumps from the widest draw at Greyville, but that’s the case with Dancing Feather in Race 5 on Wednesday.
This Duke Of Marmalade filly is obviously highly rated by Gavin van Zyl.
After running close to now Equus champion stable mate Gabor in a barrier trial, she was pitched straight into the deep end in the Listed Devon Air Stakes on 8 June.
And she wasn’t disgraced as after showing some toe she stayed on for third to subsequent Grade 2 runner up What You Are.
Her next prospective mission was the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes won by Gabor on Gold Cup day, but was made first reserve runner and didn’t get a run.
She now appears in a Maiden Plate over 1600m, and despite not having run on the Polytrack, and pulling barrier 10 of 10 Warren Kennedy’s mount should simply be far too good for this opposition.
Fellow three-year-olds Miss Missouri and Royal Kitty both have fair form, but against far weaker, and seem the most likely to give cheek.
Race 4 is another Fillies Maiden Plate over 1600m after the original event was split into two races. This throws up another unusual potential banker ridden by Kennedy.
La Duchesse is a four-year-old having her 15th start. While clearly limited, she is ultra-consistent, well drawn, and comfortable on the Polytrack.
More crucially with the manner the race was split she meets an extremely limited looking eight rivals.
Fellow battler Teetotal has managed a number of places, but her other seven rivals have two distant fourths between them.
While a few have scope for improvement, on exposed form La Duchesse will never have a better chance to shed her maiden ticket.
Dennis Drier looks the man to follow early in the day, as he is selected to win Race 1 with Ninotto, and Race 2 with Golden Chance.