Horses To Follow » White Birch

White Birch

Passenger was the obvious eye-catcher from the Dante Stakes on Thursday, he didn’t have a lot of racing room in the home straight and he finished off his race well. This was just his second race, and he will surely be a big player in the Derby if connections decide to supplement him. But, while his run has not gone unnoticed, the performance that White Birch put up may have gone a little under the radar. He was slowly away for starters, he kind of hesitated when the gates opened, which meant that he was last of the 11 runners after they had gone a hundred yards. It was almost certainly the plan to be patient, he was last early on too in the Ballysax Stakes last time, which he won, and Shane Foley didn’t appear to be overly concerned about being last. He was still last when they turned for home, and as they raced to the two-furlong marker but, taken to the near side early in the home straight, he stayed on well from there.  He got past all his rivals except one, The Foxes, who made his ground on the far side and kept on well. White Birch got to within a neck of Andrew Balding’s colt, closest at the finish.

The sectional times tell you that White Birch was faster through each of the last four furlongs than all his rivals. His finishing speed percentage of 106.67% was also higher than any of his rivals’. John Murphy’s horse is a really progressive individual, he won his maiden at Dundalk last November, and he was the outsider of the entire field when he won the Ballysax. He was a big price too for the Dante, and he remains a big price for the Derby. It may be that he is just an under-rated horse, and he could be a player in the Derby.
York, 18th May 2023