The 2015 Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes presented by Cape Thoroughbred Sales will be run on Saturday 21st November at Kenilworth for a chunky R2.5 million stake.

An updated log of eligible candidates has just been released, which serves as a guide to the possible final field. Obviously much can change in the build-up to the grand showdown as “new” horses produce significant performances, but let’s examine the Top Ten contenders as of mid-September.

Seventh Plain, a dual Grade 1 winner and unanimously voted champion juvenile from last term, towers above his opposition based on official merit ratings. He earned an outstanding figure of 110 after victories in the Gold Medallion and Golden Horseshoe during the KZN season, and will try sustain a stellar career that has already produced four wins from five starts. The son of Seventh Rock is trained by Dennis Drier, a masterful horseman who historically has plundered lucrative stakes in the prestigious Cape Summer season.

10 points adrift of Seventh Plain is Captain Chaos, who stylishly won the Cape of Good Hope Nursery in June. He comfortably took care of The Stone Thrower in that 1200m contest – Joey Ramsden’s challenger slots in 6th on the rankings. Captain Chaos may hail from the unfashionable yard of grizzled veteran trainer Ronnie Sheehan, but has tremendous scope and could be yet another Captain Al progeny capable of winning top races if building on his already admirable merit rating of 100.

There is quite a gap down to the next group, clustering with scores in the low 90’s. The Paul Peter trained, Fort Ember occupies third on the log after finishing just 2.75 lengths adrift of Lauderdale in the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes, followed by promising fillies Just Felicity and Champery. They will receive a 2.5 kg allowance in terms of the race conditions. My Emblem, a daughter of National Emblem is also in the mix and fills joint 7th on the log with Nordic Wind.

Champery, by exciting new sire, Querari, is an interesting contender. She won her first two starts with flashy bursts of finishing speed, only to injure a suspensory when narrowly defeated in the Perfect Promise Stakes. That was a valiant effort, competing on just three good legs. It is heartening that she has recovered well from that mishap and, with full function restored, could be a significant player.

Jet Air, Dragon Flame, Mystical Twilight and Political Power also feature prominently on the log. Brett Crawford, who won the inaugural running with high-class miler Captain America, has Mr Bond as stable representative. He is assessed with a merit rating of 87 and rounds out the current top ten for this 2015 edition.

Plenty of changes are likely given that young horses typically make dramatic improvement during the Spring. Some shrewd trainers have not yet played their hand with more than two months still to go before race-time, so new challengers for a coveted place in the line-up on Lanzerac’s special race day are bound to emerge.