Captain Joy scored over 7f here a fortnight ago when Billyford was over two lengths behind in fourth. The former should make another bold bid and is preferred to Akasaka, beaten only a short-head over a longer trip here last week with Iron Major well behind. MIRACLE CURE won at Leopardstown last month and also drops back in distance. He has a 9lb rise to contend with but today's drop in class is in his favour and Jim Bolger's colt gets the vote.
Billyford (IRE) 16-1 (9-10) Soon raced in mid-division on inner, closer order travelling well over 2f out, soon not much racing room, no impression and kept on final furlong, 4th of 11, 2 1/2l behind Captain Joy (8-12) at Dundalk 7f hcp pol in Nov.
Miracle Cure (IRE) 7-2 (8-4) Tracked leaders, 5th halfway, improved into 2nd early straight, led 1 1/2f out, clear entering final furlong, eased near finish, won at Leopardstown 1m 2f hcp sft in Nov beating One Fine Day (8-5) by 1 3/4l, 11 ran.
Akasaka (IRE) 13-2 (9-1) Tracked leaders, moderate 3rd entering straight, soon ridden, went moderate 2nd 2f out, closed on leader 1f out, stayed on well final furlong to strongly press winner, just failed, 2nd of 11, shd behind Ansgar (9-4) at Dundalk 1m 3f hcp pol.
Captain Joy (IRE) 10-3fav (8-12) Soon tracked leaders in 4th, closed from over 2f out, challenged under pressure and led inside final furlong, stayed on well, won at Dundalk 7f hcp pol in Nov beating Russian Soul (9-8) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
King's Trail (JPN) 16-1 (9-7) Tracked leaders, lost place over 2f out, soon not much room and no impression, kept on, 5th of 8, 4l behind Paene Magnus (9-3) at Dundalk 1m 3f Listed stks (1) pol in Nov.
Core Element (IRE) 6-1 (9-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, lost place from over 1f out, soon no impression and kept on same pace, 5th of 7, 2 1/2l behind Rummaging (9-1) at Dundalk 7f app hcp pol.
Iron Major (IRE) 16-1 (9-8) Mid-division, ridden and no impression 2f out, kept on one pace, 8th of 14, 7l behind Ansgar (9-6) at Dundalk 1m 3f hcp 60-90 pol in Oct.