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2000 Guineas reaction - Postmark: Close-up runners keep winner's rating in check.

Byline: Paul Curtis

REFUSE TO BEND kept his unbeaten record intact when winning the Sagitta 2,000 Guineas at the weekend, but the Dermot Weld-trained colt has yet to post a top-class figure after coming out best in a messy race, his Postmark of 118 falling several pounds below the race average, writes Paul Curtis.

The first British Classic can usually be relied on to produce a Postmark in the low 120s but, with only three lengths covering the first eight home, it would require a leap of faith to put such a figure on this year's renewal.

Saturn (111) and Hurricane Alan (111) avoided much of the trouble, and look to have run their races in fifth and seventh respectively; they are the best measure of the form at this stage. To give the Guineas a race-average figure would see too many exposed horses running way above themselves, with only Dewhurst one-two Tout Seul and Tomahawk not recording career-bests. On balance, it seems reasonable to suggest that the overall form of Saturday's race is not up to scratch.

That is not to say that Refuse To Bend won't go on to prove himself a really top-class performer, though, and the nature of the race, run at a muddling pace, compromised his chances of posting a big figure. No Guineas winner has gone on to win the Derby since Nashwan, yet despite Refuse To Bend's low Guineas-winning figure, nothing has really gone to Epsom with comparable credentials since.

nRead Ratings Review in the Racing Post Weekender

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Refuse To Bend: lowly rated Guineas-winning performance
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 5, 2003
Words:265
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