LAST year’s Derby third White Birch could be set for a return to Epsom following a good winning comeback in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh last Saturday.

John Murphy’s charge went to post 10/3 favourite in the Group 3 contest over 10 furlongs and proved a game winner under Colin Keane.

The Ulysses colt was held up before being produced to lead under a furlong from home. He stuck on well in the closing stages to hold Maxux at bay by a neck.

The trainer’s son and assistant George Murphy said afterwards: “That was lovely, we’re delighted with that.

“You’d always be worried a bit about fitness on that sticky ground but he did it lovely in the end, behaved very well and we couldn’t be happier with him.

“He did everything right today, he was at the start for a good while and he was very chilled out. He travelled lovely throughout the race and did what he had to do when it mattered. He seems more mature.

“He’s in the Coronation and in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, we’ll have a chat with the owners and see what they want to do from here. We’ll see how he comes out of it first and go from there.”

Keane double

It was a double on the card for the champion jockey who had earlier teamed up with his father Gerry to land the Hytech EQ Ultra Handicap with Crystal Black.

The mile contest produced the finish of the day with the Teofilo gelding leading inside the final furlong and just holding the late charge of Earls by the slimmest of margins.

Casanova was only a short-head back in third in a bunch finish.

“It’s great to get it. It was his first run and we didn’t know about the ground for him with 10st,” said Keane senior.

“We had him ready early this year for the Lincoln but he got a setback before it.

“He probably would have needed the run in the Lincoln anyway so it maybe worked out better.

“We’re hoping he’s a blacktype horse, that’s the road you’d have to go I think. There are a couple of big handicaps on Guineas weekend as well.”

Bective colours make their mark on the flat

THE Bective Stud colours are more commonly seen over jumps but they look to have a nice filly for the flat after the Gordon Elliott-trained Zaynab quickened up smartly to land the opening Nando Parrado Irish EBF Maiden.

Declan McDonogh’s mount found herself short of room a couple of furlongs from home but flew home when getting into the clear in the closing stages to nab Igor Stravinsky at the line for a short-head success.

McDonogh said afterwards: “I wanted to ride her like that, the last day she was in open ground and doing too much.

“I was locked up and needed something to fall away on my left, and it did eventually. That’s the way to ride her, she needs cover.

“She’s a fine, big, strong filly, she has plenty of power. She gets through the ground very well and even later on in the autumn we might come back to six when she has the experience, on soft ground.”


Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore gained compensation for their narrow defeat in the opener when Chemistry landed the Irish National Stud Irish EBF Maiden later on the card.

The Kingman colt, in the Derrick Smith colours, went to post a 8/13 shot in the 10-furlong contest and made all for a convincing length-and-a-half success.

“He’s hardy and he stays well, he gave him a good ride,” said O’Brien. “He’s a horse that looks like he’ll stay well.”

In the other maiden on the card, State Actor ran out a cosy winner of the Tote sponsored event over a mile.

Beaumadier soon shot clear in the race but was reeled in a furlong and a half out by the Raven’s Pass gelding, who went on to record a two-length win under Chris Hayes.

Trainer Bill Farrell said of the 15/2 winner: “The one in front left me nervous and Chris said he got there too soon, he said it took him a while to pull him up and he likes him a lot.

“I hope to turn him into euros but we’ll see. Gary Davis (owner) bred him, the mare had been disappointing but is very well bred and Raven’s Pass is a good stallion.”

Mulvany eyes stakes prizes Bid

THE decision to drop Bid For Chester back in trip reaped rewards for Mick Mulvany after the Richester gelding claimed the Tote Rated Race.

Wesley Joyce produced his mount with a strong run inside the final furlong as the 4/1 shot beat Pansy Poe by three-quarters of a length in the five-furlong contest.

Mulvany said: “He’s a very genuine little horse. The (Crowsnest) syndicate are local to me and I’m delighted for them.

“He ran well in the Madrid Handicap, I actually thought we had a bit in hand there but he ran into one.

“We took a chance today coming back in trip. If I didn’t bring him here, I had to bring him somewhere else to work him so I said I’d run for the money and get a pipe opener. He’ll probably go to Navan for the listed race (Committed Stakes) next Saturday, all going well.”

Deserved success

In the concluding sprint handicap on the card Mercurial gained a deserved success for trainer John Nallen.

The Prince Of Lir gelding had been placed seven times since joining the Clonmel handler and made the breakthrough in good style under Robert Whearty.

He made all on the 9/1 shot, who stayed on strongly in the closing stages to post a three-length success in the six-furlong contest.

Whearty said: “He did it nicely. He winged the gates, I thought we went along but I was happy enough. The instructions were to roll forward and have him very handy. He stays that bit further too and I didn’t think ground would be an issue. Hopefully he’s a horse that can progress through the season.”