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    White Birch might stop at Sandown
White Birch might stop at Sandown
White Birch. Source: attheraces.com

White Birch might stop at Sandown

White Birch faced disappointment as a setback forced him out of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, where a highly anticipated showdown with City Of Troy was eagerly awaited.

Trained by John Joseph Murphy, the four-year-old grey had been gearing up for a rematch with Auguste Rodin before circumstances dictated a change of plans. Notably, White Birch, sired by Ulysses and third in last year's Derby behind Auguste Rodin, had secured his maiden Group One victory by defeating Aidan O’Brien’s charge by three lengths in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.

Now, attention turns to potential future races. A likely target could be the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 6, with another option being a step-up in distance to tackle the mile-and-a-half Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on June 30.

George Murphy, speaking to the PA news agency, explained: “We received some concerning blood test results yesterday, prompting our decision to withdraw him from Royal Ascot. We'll discuss the next steps with the owners, but he remains entered the Eclipse and the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud later this month. Ground conditions at Royal Ascot weren’t a factor in our decision-making.”

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