Issue 792

NEWS adiyat racing 16 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 The previously unheralded White Birch caused something of an upset in Sunday’s 1m2f Group 2 Ballysax Stakes as the outsider downed a trio of Aidan O'Brien-trained Derby contenders on heavy ground at Leopardstown. Held up early on by Shane Foley, the John Murphy-trained White Birch produced a late rattle to swoop past favourite Alexandroupolis before holding off once raced maiden Up And Under. The O'Brien-trained Alexandroupolis, who was second favourite for the Derby at Epsom before the Ballysax, could not live with the front two and finished four lengths back in third. Murphy's son and assistant trainer George said: "We're delighted with that. We were very excited coming into today; we always thought he could be a serious horse. "His work had been super coming into today and he was obviously super impressive in his maiden at Dundalk. We're delighted he's done what we had hoped he could do and I think there could be quite a bit more to come as well. He has a big engine." The Ulysses colt is now the winner of his two most recent starts having landed his second and final juvenile outing over 1400m on the Dundalk all-weather late in November. Never Ending Story advertised her claims for Newmarket’s 1000 Guineas after an impressive display in the 1400m trial, although trainer Aidan O'Brien said she may be more likely to tackle the Irish equivalent on The Curragh. Matilda Picotte made most of the running but was gunned down in the straight by Ryan Moore on the favourite, who was making her first start since finishing third in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac in October. “She is of course not there yet, but rather than working her hard at home we thought we would let her run, and then we could back off and prime her, that was the plan,” O’Brien said. CLASSIC CLUES APLENTY IN IRELAND AND STORY COULD BE A NEVER ENDING ONE “Ryan gave her a beautiful ride; he let her go to sleep and let her come home well. He was happy with her but it was tough ground out there, so hopefully she’ll go into one of the Guineas now and we think there's every chance she might get further than mile. "Newmarket may come too quick for her and Meditate is on target for that at the moment unless things change. At this time of year, a lot of stuff can happen in a week." It was a second victory on the day for O'Brien, who also took the 2000 Guineas trial with hot favourite Hans Andersen, also ridden by Moore. Given a very similar ride to Never Ending Story, Hans Andersen came from the rear of midfield under Moore before pulling away by two and a half lengths. O'Brien said: "We were very happy with him. Obviously we were trying to split the horses up but seven [furlongs] was plenty short for him. The plan now is to maybe go for a French Guineas or an Irish Guineas, maybe on to a French Derby but we always felt he was going to be very happy to go to a mile and further." AIDAN O'BRIEN: WE WERE VERY HAPPY WITH HIM. OBVIOUSLY WE WERE TRYING TO SPLIT THE HORSES UP BUT SEVEN [FURLONGS] WAS PLENTY SHORT FOR HIM. White Birch Hans Andersen