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Refuse To Bend at Classic crossroads.

REFUSE TO BEND has questions to answer when he reappears under a 7lb Group 1 penalty in the Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial tomorrow.

A second-stage entry this week for the Vodafone Derby, for which he is 12-1 fourth favourite, Dermot Weld's

unbeaten colt is third in the lists for the Sagitta 2,000 Guineas, also at 12-1.

His trainer is looking towards

tomorrow's mile encounter to gauge what Classic route to take with the Sadler's Wells half-brother to Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle.

Weld said: "Sunday's race should show us if Refuse To Bend will be coming back to Leopardstown for the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial next month before Epsom. If he shows enough pace on Sunday we could be going for the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket before the Derby.

"His penalty for winning the National Stakes won't make it easy for him, but he has done well since last season and is in good form. Safe, fast ground will be fine for him, but he wouldn't want it like a road."

Such an eventuality seems unlikely as Leopardstown watered on Thursday, and yesterday the track's racing manager Tom Burke said: "If the forecast proves correct I would imagine the ground will be good or just on the fast side of good."

Refuse To Bend's rivals include the Aidan O'Brien-trained duo Some Kind Of Tiger and France, winner of a Limerick maiden and placed in a Group 3 at Leopardstown on his final start last year. Also in opposition are Good Day Too, the mount of Jamie Spencer and the winner of a Curragh maiden on his only start last month, and Chappel

Cresent, who was twice placed behind Van Nistelrooy and ran third behind Tomahawk at The Curragh last month.

Weld's other second-stage entry for the Derby, Former Senator, faces 14

rivals in the Leopardstown Golf Centre Maiden over ten furlongs.

CAPTION(S):

Dermot Weld Guineas or Derby dilemma
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 12, 2003
Words:322
Previous Article:Leopardstown: Weld 'hopeful' about Dimitrova's chance.
Next Article:Leopardstown: Alberto in tough test with Oxx colt.


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