Ulysses's White Birch In Ballysax Upset

White Birch edges Up And Under | racingfotos.com

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Conspicuous by his colour if not his presence in the betting market, Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez's recent acquisition White Birch (GB) (Ulysses {Ire}–Diagnostic {GB}, by Dutch Art {GB}) overhauled the customary representation of the O'Briens and Bolger in Leopardstown's G3 P W McGrath Memorial Ballysax S. to provide the John Joseph Murphy stable with a red-letter day. Anchored at the tail of the field early by Shane Foley, the almost-white grey who had opened his account by 6 1/2 lengths over seven furlongs sporting Murphy's own silks at Dundalk in November loomed large out wide as Ballydoyle's TDN Rising Star Alexandroupolis (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) made his move in early straight. Hampered as that 4-5 favourite lugged right approaching the furlong pole which also affected the Joseph O'Brien-trained Up And Under (Fr) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) before they went clear, the 22-1 shot had that bit extra inside the dying strides to prevail by half a length. There was eventually four lengths between Up And Under and Alexandroupolis, who could fare no better than third as he failed to bring up a Ballydoyle trial treble.

“We were very excited coming in, as we always thought he was a very serious horse and his work had been super,” the winning trainer said. “He was very impressive in his maiden and he did what we hoped he could do today. There is a fair bit more to come, as he has a big engine and I couldn't thank the owner enough for keeping him with us. His first run was on heavy ground at Naas and he finished out strong, so I was confident he'd get through it and the good ones can do it on anything. With the pace he showed at Dundalk, we weren't 100 per-cent confident he'd get a mile and a quarter but I don't think we'd be too worried going anywhere with him now. He's very well-balanced and moves very well, so I wouldn't be worried about going to Epsom–we'll have a serious chat with the owner and make a plan.”

Pedigree Notes
White Birch, who provided his sire with back-to-back renewals of the Ballysax after Piz Badile (Ire), is Cheveley Park breeding through and through. He is the second of two foals out of Diagnostic, who proved a useful sort in the red, white and blue of the Thompsons when winning four times at six and seven furlongs campaigned by William Haggas almost exclusively on the all-weather. Her dam Holistic (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) is a full-sister to the Listed Kilvington Fillies' S. winner and stakes producer Prescription (GB) and a half to four further black-type winners headed by Clinical (GB) (Motivator {GB}), who proved especially adept on Epsom's unique contours when winning the G3 Princess Elizabeth S. before producing the G2 Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen (German 2000 Guineas) runner-up and G1 Vincent O'Brien National S. third Lockheed (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}).

Further back, White Birch boasts as one of his relatives the renowned Secreto mare Rahaam, who was not only responsible for the top-class grey Verglas (Ire) but also the G2 King's Stand S. winner and all-round sprinting talent Cassandra Go (Ire) (Indian Ridge {Ire}) who in turn threw the illustrious performer and producer Halfway To Heaven (Ire) by Cheveley Park's flagship sire Pivotal (GB). Her Galileo (Ire) daughters Magical (Ire) and Rhododendron (Ire) need no introduction, with the latter the dam of Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), who at present at least looks the biggest obstacle to White Birch should connections take the grey down the Derby route.

Sunday, Leopardstown, Ireland
P.W. MCGRATH MEMORIAL BALLYSAX S.-G3, €50,000, Leopardstown, 4-2, 3yo, 10fT, 2:19.95, hy.
1–WHITE BIRCH (GB), 131, c, 3, by Ulysses (Ire)
     1st Dam: Diagnostic (GB), by Dutch Art (GB)
     2nd Dam: Holistic (GB), by Pivotal (GB)
     3rd Dam: Doctor's Glory, by Elmaamul
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GROUP WIN. (75,000gns Wlg '20 TATFOA; 48,000gns RNA Ylg '21 TATOCT). O-Mrs C C Regalado-Gonzalez; B-Cheveley Park Stud Limited (GB); T-John Joseph Murphy; J-Shane Foley. €30,000. Lifetime Record: 3-2-0-0, $42,029. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Up And Under (Fr), 131, c, 3, Lope De Vega (Ire)–Hibiscus (Ire), by Galileo (Ire).
1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. (220,000gns Wlg '20 TATFOA; 130,000gns RNA Ylg '21 TATOCT; €130,000 2yo '22 ARQMAY). O-Go Racing Limited; B-Floors Stud Roxburgh Estate Office (FR); T-Joseph O'Brien. €10,000.
3–Alexandroupolis (Ire), 131, c, 3, Camelot (GB)–Jazz Cat (Ire), by Tamayuz (GB).
1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. TDN Rising Star. (240,000gns Ylg '21 TATOCT). O-D Smith,Mrs J Magnier,M Tabor,Westerberg; B-Mrs Fitri Hay (IRE); T-Aidan O'Brien. €5,000.
Margins: HF, 4, 1 3/4. Odds: 22.00, 7.50, 0.80.
Also Ran: Serious Challenge (Ire), Denmark (GB), Mohawk Chief. Scratched: Alder (Ire).

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