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Weld in no hurry to set Refuse To Bend target.

Byline: Tony O'Hehir

A DECISION on Refuse To Bend's participation in the Sagitta 2,000 Guineas is to be delayed until next week at the earliest, according to the

unbeaten colt's trainer,

Dermot Weld.

After Refuse To Bend had defied a 7lb penalty to win the Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial on Sunday, Weld indicated that a decision on the Moyglare Stud-owned colt's next race - the Guineas or the Derrinstown Stud Derby

Trial at Leopardstown next month - would be made in a few days.

However, Weld said yesterday: "We are in no rush to

decide about running at Newmarket. Refuse To Bend has come out of Sunday's race very well and there are plenty of

factors to consider.

"We will make a decision about a week before the Guineas. With many stables in Newmarket under a cloud

because of a bug, we cannot be certain how the Guineas will shape up.

"I have said all along that Refuse To Bend might be more a Derby horse than a Guineas one."

Plans for Balestrini, shock winner of the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes on Sunday, have yet to be finalised although the Entenmann's Irish 2,000 Guineas yesterday emerged as one of the possible targets trainer Aidan O'Brien will consider.

O'Brien said: "We will probably have a look at the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial but he wouldn't have a problem dropping down to a mile and, at this stage, I wouldn't rule out the Irish Guineas.

"Balestrini had been working very well in recent weeks and, as he is by Danehill, we put that down to the ground. His two runs last year were on soft ground and he handled the faster conditions very well on Sunday."

Mick Channon is keen for Zafeen to run in the 2,000 Guineas following the colt's pleasing comeback when

second to Muqbil in the Lane's End Greenham Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

"I was thrilled with him -

especially as it was a falsely run race - and I do think he'll stay," said Channon.

"He's come out of it well and while no decision has been made over his next run,

Newmarket is what I want and I usually get my way."

Trade Fair, 8-1 third favourite with Coral for the Newmarket contest, was confirmed an absentee from Thursday's Craven Stakes by trainer Roger Charlton and will head straight to the Guineas.

Other 2,000 Guineas hopefuls Rimrod, Saturn and Tacitus could put their Classic aspirations on the line in the Easter Stakes at Kempton on Saturday.

Londonnetdotcom, second to 1,000 Guineas favourite Six Perfections in Deauville last season, is among 14 fillies entered for the Masaka Stakes.

nNewmarket-based bloodstock agency McKeever St Lawrence will sponsor both Listed races.

nSaturday entries, page 41
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 15, 2003
Words:458
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