Several of these arrive in top form including Shake The Bucket though it's a surprise to see him taking a big drop in trip after his exploits over middle-distances. Akasaka continues to go really well but is climbing the weights without winning so it's BEAT THE BALLOT who gets the vote. Joseph O'Brien was on board when Tracey Collins' lightly-raced gelding gained his second C&D victory last month where he looked progressive and with an ideal draw again he'll take some beating. Dimitar is another dual C&D winner with a fine chance despite a 7lb rise while Great Soprano foiled a gamble in a maiden here last month and makes his handicap debut. There are plenty of others in with chances in a wide-open handicap.
Akasaka (IRE) 4-1 (9-7) Chased leader in 2nd, improved to lead and ridden 2f out, strongly pressed 1f out, headed and no extra close home, 2nd of 7, 1/2l behind Captain Joy (9-4) at Dundalk 1m hcp pol in Dec.
Shake The Bucket (IRE) 10-3fav (8-11) Keen hold and led, asserted under pressure from over 1f out, stayed on well, won at Dundalk 1m 3f hcap pol beating Denny Crane (9-6) by 1/2l, 8 ran.
Beat The Ballot (IRE) 2-1fav (9-3) Always prominent, led 2f out, soon ridden clear, stayed on well final furlong, comfortably, won at Dundalk 1m 3yo stks pol in Dec beating Golden Shoe (9-4) by 1 1/2l, 14 ran.
Star Links (USA) 11-2 (9-3) In touch, ridden and headway to chase leaders over 2f out, weakened final furlong, 12th of 13, 12l behind Robin Hoods Bay (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Nov.
Dimitar (USA) 7-2fav (9-7) Settled in at the rear, progress to track leaders 1f out, ridden to lead and assert inside final furlong, stayed on well, won at Dundalk 1m Handicap (55-75) (4yo+) pol beating Eljowzah (8-6) by 1 3/4l, 10 ran.
Shukhov (IRE) 7-1 (8-13) Tracked leader, pushed along 2f out, kept on same pace from over 1f out, 3rd of 8, 2 1/2l behind Shake The Bucket (8-11) at Dundalk 1m 3f hcap pol.
Great Soprano (USA) 7-4fav (9-5) Chased leader, 2nd halfway, improved to lead under 2f out, ridden over 1f out, pressed closing stages, kept on, won at Dundalk 1m mdn stks pol in Dec beating Heuston (9-2) by nk, 13 ran.
Curl Cat (USA) 8-1 (8-13) Towards rear, progress into 7th 2f out, soon ridden, kept on same pace, 6th of 11, 3 1/2l behind Core Element (9-1) at Dundalk 7f hcap pol.
Beau Amadeus (IRE) 12-1 (9-10) Soon tracked leaders, close up over 2f out, no extra and kept on same pace from over 1f out, 10th of 14, 5l behind Maude Adams (9-5) at Dundalk 1m Apprentice Handicap (55-75) (3yo+) pol in Nov.
He's Got Rhythm (IRE) 9-1 (8-10) Dwelt, waited with in rear, kept on same pace under pressure from over 1f out, 6th of 7, 2 3/4l behind Rummaging (9-1) at Dundalk 7f app hcp pol in Dec.
Rocky's Pride (IRE) 12-1 (9-1) Tracked leaders, no impression under pressure and kept on same pace from over 1f out, 6th of 10, 4l behind Dimitar (9-7) at Dundalk 1m Handicap (55-75) (4yo+) pol.
Cool Athlete (IRE) 11-2 (9-2) Waited with, not much room from 2f out, no impression and kept on inside final furlong, 5th of 10, 3 1/2l behind Dimitar (9-7) at Dundalk 1m Handicap (55-75) (4yo+) pol.
Lord Kenmare (USA) 8-1 (8-8) Towards rear, no impression straight, 8th of 11, 4l behind Core Element (9-1) at Dundalk 7f hcap pol.