Weld camp scotch Refuse To Bend rumours

ENGLISH 2000 Guineas winner Refuse To Bend is very much on track for Saturday’s Vodafone Derby at Epsom, as Mark Weld yesterday emphatically denied rumours regarding the horse’s recent homework.

The rumour-mill has been working overtime for a number of days, which saw Refuse To Bend drift alarmingly in the betting with all firms, touching as high as 5-1 with Cashmans.

A week ago he was a strong 5-2 favourite.

Mark, assistant trainer to his father, Dermot, who was in England on business yesterday, said: “There is no basis at all for the rumours about his work. He worked with good horses at Leopardstown on Friday and beat them snugly.

“We don’t know how this got started, he has never been a horse to work spectacularly. We were not disappointed with him in any way, indeed we were pleased with him.

“Refuse To Bend has been out in a field all weekend and is in great shape. He’s healthy and happy.

“We expect the horse to give a very good account of himself at Epsom and if you have been a fan stick with him.”

Refuse To Bend breezed over about seven furlongs on the Old Vic gallop on the Curragh yesterday morning and did all that was required of him.

Cashmans have tightened the Sadler’s Wells colt to 4-1, in the light of the upbeat bulletins coming from the Weld camp.

“We didn’t lay him to any great extent, but believed we were too big at 5’s”, explained Paul Cashman.

They have Brian Boru as their 5-2 favourite. “He will be a bad result for us”, said Cashman.

They then go 7-2 Alamshar, 4-1 Refuse To Bend, 8-1 Alberto Giacometti and 14-1 The Great Gatsby and Kris Kin.

Meanwhile Royal Alphabet may have twenty six opponents with which to contend in the Clonskeagh Maiden at Leopardstown tonight, but still has to be a confident choice.

The lightly raced son of King’s Theatre made a winning debut at the Galway Festival in August, producing an excellent turn of foot in the closing stages to beat Mind The Square a comfortable length.

He was immediatly nominated a Cheltenham horse by trainer, Willie Mullins, and wasn’t seen again until that meeting in March. Royal Alphabet contested the Weatherbys’ Champion Bumper, but cut little ice in tenth place, behind Liberman, after having a less than ideal preparation.

The selection then set the record straight, however, with two cracking efforts back on home soil.

He beat subsequent winner Flexible Action at Fairyhouse and only gave best to the ultra-smart Nicky Henderson trained Royal Rosa at Punchestown.

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