Iron Major, who won this in 2012, is still 6lb higher than his last winning mark and was beaten seven lengths by Deep Sound a fortnight ago when previous winner Victor's Beach was close up and Captain Cullen further behind. He's also very closely matched with Akasaka, who gave him 12lb and beat him narrowly in a claimer here last July but hasn't been seen since. Fleet Captain was well beaten in that latter event but has been in much better form subsequently. Barack has had very little experience on the surface and reverts the the Flat after two poor efforts over hurdles. DANSEUR DE FEU gained her first success over 7f here in November and the assessor put her up 8lb which looked harsh at first but the three who followed her home all scored subsequently so the form looks strong enough for this.
Croi An Or (IRE) 25-1 (9-7) Held up in 5th, pushed along entering straight, ridden in 6th 2f out, no impression in 5th 1f out, kept on same pace, 4th of 7, 5l behind Rich Coast (9-7) at Cork 1m Listed stks (1) in Oct.
Akasaka (IRE) 11-10fav (10-2) Made all, ridden and strongly pressed 1f out, kept on under pressure inside final furlong and stayed on best final 50 yards, won at Dundalk 7f clm stks pol in Jul beating Iron Major (9-4) by 1/2l, 8 ran.
Barack (IRE) 14-1 (9-10) Dwelt and in rear, pushed along and some headway on outer entering straight, kept on one pace without threatening, 8th of 14, 6l behind Castle Guest (9-8) at Leopardstown 1m 2f hcp sft in Nov.
Captain Cullen (IRE) 7-1 (9-6) Ran freely towards rear, ridden to go 3rd over 1f out, 2nd inside final furlong but no impression on winner, kept on one pace, 2nd of 6, 3 1/2l behind Maontri (9-7) at Dundalk 7f hcap pol.
Iron Major (IRE) 7-2fav (9-0) Dwelt, in rear, ridden entering straight, 6th 2f out, closer in moderate 2nd 1f out, kept on without threatening winner final furlong, 2nd of 9, 8l behind Deep Speed (9-0) at Dundalk 1m hcap pol.
Fleet Captain 12-1 (8-11) Towards rear, pushed along over 3f out, ridden in 9th 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, 6th of 10, 2 1/4l behind Indian Landing (8-11) at Dundalk 7f hcp pol in Dec.
Victor's Beach (IRE) 5-1 (8-13) In rear and pushed along early, ridden entering straight, moderate 8th 2f out, moderate 7th 1f out, kept on without threatening, 4th of 9, 9l behind Deep Speed (9-0) at Dundalk 1m hcap pol.
Beat The Ballot (IRE) 10-3fav (10-0) Chased leader, led after 2f, ridden 2f out, kept on under pressure, headed close home and no extra, 4th of 10, 1 1/4l behind Cheers Buddy (8-12) at Dundalk 1m hcp 50-75 pol in Dec.
Danseur De Feu (IRE) 13-2 (9-11) Mid-division, progress early straight and ridden to lead 1 1/2f out, kept on well under pressure inside final furlong, won at Dundalk 7f hcp 47-65 pol in Nov beating Mountain Coral (9-8) by 1 3/4l, 13 ran.
Cool Athlete (IRE) 11-2 (9-2) Held up in touch, ridden in 6th entering straight, soon no impression, 7th of 8, 7l behind Maontri (9-6) at Dundalk 7f Stakes (0-75) (4yo+) pol.