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    White Birch appears to be in excellent form and shows great promise
White Birch appears to be in excellent form and shows great promise
White Birch. Source: theirishfield.ie

White Birch appears to be in excellent form and shows great promise

White Birch, the talented horse who secured a notable third-place finish in last season's Derby, is eyeing a potential comeback in the upcoming Alleged Stakes next month. Trained by John Joseph Murphy, the grey colt began his three-year-old campaign impressively by triumphing in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown. He narrowly missed out on victory in his subsequent outing, finishing second by just a neck to The Foxes in the Dante at York.

Despite facing defeat, White Birch put in another commendable performance in the Epsom Classic, crossing the line behind Auguste Rodin and King Of Steel. Although he didn't live up to expectations in the Irish Derby, he concluded his season on a positive note with a respectable fourth-place finish in a Group Three race at Leopardstown in September.

George Murphy, assistant to his father, expressed optimism about White Birch's condition during the winter break and anticipates his return to competitive action at the Curragh on 6th April, provided the conditions are suitable. Murphy described the horse as being in excellent form and training well, highlighting his potential for improvement from three to four years old due to his impressive stature.

The Alleged Stakes is being considered as a viable option for White Birch, but a decision will depend on the ground conditions. If the terrain is excessively muddy, the team may opt to wait for more favourable conditions before making a decision. Murphy acknowledged the persistent rainy weather but expressed hope for a change soon.

Assuming a successful return, White Birch could potentially compete in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, a prestigious Group One race scheduled for 26th May. Murphy revealed that both the Alleged Stakes and the Tattersalls Gold Cup are prominent races under consideration. However, the unpredictable weather conditions have made planning challenging, and they will adapt their strategy accordingly. Initially, they plan to start the horse over a mile and a quarter and potentially explore longer distances as the year progresses.

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