George Murphy looking forward to Derby Trial with White Birch 'in super form'

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White Birch will return to Leopardstown to put his Betfred Derby aspirations on the line in the Derby Trial Stakes on Sunday. Trained by John Joseph Murphy, the colt opened his account at the second attempt at Dundalk in November and thrived for the step up in trip on his three-year-old return to cause a 22-1 upset in the Dublin track's Ballysax Stakes. Now the son of Ulysses will head to the race previously known as the Derrinstown Derby Trial as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Battle Of Marengo (2013), Broome (2019) and Bolshoi Ballet (2021) who all completed the double in the last 10 years. A strong showing could signal a trip to Epsom on June 3 where White Birch would have the opportunity to become the first horse since Harzand in 2016 to win both the Ballysax and the premier Classic. "He came out of the race at Leopardstown well and we couldn't be happier with how things are going. His work has been great and he is in super form," said George Murphy, assistant trainer to his father. "The plan is to go back to Leopardstown for what was the Derrinstown - it's just the Derby Trial now - and after that, we can decide whether we go to the Derby or not. "I have no doubt the trial will be a difficult race, but he's in great form and we're looking forward to it." A total of 14 colts have been entered for the Derby Trial with Aidan O'Brien responsible for Adelaide River, Continuous, Gooloogong, Londoner, Mohawk Chief and Tower Of London. Donnacha O'Brien's Proud And Regal and Jessica Harrington's Sprewell are others of note.

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