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Racing: REFUSE TO GO PAST THIS BEND.

Byline: CHRISBEECH

PUNTERScan rely on Refuse To Bend to emerge victorious in a fascinating renewal of the Vodafone Derby at Epsom today. Dermot Weld's colt is unbeaten after four career starts and has already tasted Classic success in the Sagitta 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last month. On the Rowley Mile he beat Zafeen by three-quarters of a length after settling well and running on strongly to lead at the furlong pole. That was a top-class effort for a horse bred to stay - he is half- brother to the Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle - and improvement is guaranteed over the Derby trip. His progress since Newmarkethas not been quite as expected as he failed to set the world alight with a lacklustre gallop a week ago. However, he silenced his doubters when pleasing connections in an exercise at the Curragh on Tuesday and he looks to be coming back to his high-class best at just the right time. He is a first Derby mount for Pat Smullen but the unique undulations of Epsom will hold no fears for the former Irish champion jockey. Refuse To Bend travels well in his races and Smullen will be able to take up a good early position from his draw in stall six. The son of Sadler's Wells has outstanding claims and he is napped to become the first horse since the mighty Nashwan in 1989 to land the Guineas-Derby double.

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HOT: Refuse To Bend is seeking a Guineas-Derby double
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 7, 2003
Words:247
Previous Article:Racing: 10 DERBY FORM POINTS TO NYSAEAN VICTORY; Hannon's colt looks the part in Curragh feature.
Next Article:Greyhound Derby: Agassi for net profit.


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