Ground concerns for Halford
Mick Halford is keeping his fingers crossed conditions at the Curragh do not deteriorate further.
He is set to run Regulation who returns from a winter campaign in Dubai to contest Sunday's www.thetote.com Irish Lincolnshire.
With a total prize fund of 100,000 euro up for grabs in the feature event on the opening day of the Irish turf season, it is no surprise a strong field of 21 has been declared for the one-mile contest.
While plenty are making their seasonal reappearances, Regulation should be at the peak of his powers after running well in defeat in a couple of valuable Meydan handicaps the twice.
Halford said: "He's fit and well having been out in Dubai, but I wish it would stop raining. We've had a few heavy showers in the last few hours and he is a horse who would definitely prefer better ground.
"Having said that, he likes the Curragh, it's a big pot and it's right beside us, so it's worth a shot. It's a race that's been in my mind for him for a while, so there is no reason for him not to have a go."
The Andrew Oliver-trained Shipyard won once from three starts as a juvenile, placing on his other two appearances.
Although he was beaten at both attempts at a mile, the County Tyrone-based trainer is confident the distance is within his range.
Oliver said: "He won his maiden over five furlongs, which shows how much speed he has, but that was more to do with it being his only real opportunity at the time.
"We don't know whether he definitely gets the mile or not, but we're as confident as we can be.
"It was very heavy ground when he made his debut over a mile at Listowel and he actually missed 10 days of work prior to his last run at Leopardstown after getting a nail in his foot.
"I just think he might need the run a bit, but it's a big prize and we're hoping for a big run. I'm not sure if he a stakes horse or not but he could well progress this season."
Johnny Murtagh's smart filly We'll Go Walking makes her handicap debut having been campaigned at Listed and Group level for most of her three-year-old campaign.
Murtagh said: "The mile trip may be a bit short for her but she is very well and ready for a run. She is a robust filly and should handle the ground."
Tommy Stack runs the veteran Beacon Lodge, with apprentice jockey Tom Madden doing the steering.
Stack's son and assistant, Fozzy, said: "Age isn't on his side, but he seems on good terms with himself.
"I think he's the highest rated nine-year-old in the country, so we're claiming seven pounds off him to give him a chance. I think he'll handle the ground. At his time of life, I'd say he probably prefers a bit of juice in it."
Aidan O'Brien's Afonso De Sousa heads the weights, while Dermot Weld saddles both Stuccodor and Defining Year.
Richard Fahey's Lord Aeryn is the sole challenger from across the Irish Sea.