02/13/2012 1:18PM

Refuse to Bend, Darley stallion and Irish champion, dies of heart attack

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Irish champion and Darley stallion Refuse to Bend, sire of European champion 3-year-old filly Sarafina, died of a heart attack Friday at Haras du Logis in Normandy, France. The Sadler’s Wells horse was 12 and already was about to start the breeding season.

Refuse to Bend, a half-brother to 2002 Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle, became a Group 1 winner at 2 when he captured Ireland’s National Stakes. At 3 in 2003, he won the 2000 Guineas, earning Irish championship status that same year when he was highweight over seven to nine furlongs. Darley purchased him from his breeder, Moyglare Stud, before the colt’s 4-year-old campaign, during which he won the Coral Eclipse and Queen Anne Stakes, both also Group 1.

In addition to Sarafina, winner of the 2010 Prix de Diane, he also sired French Group 1 winner Wavering, Norwegian Triple Crown winner Without Fear, and international champions Innovator and Neon Light.

Refuse to Bend previously had stood at Kildangan Stud in Ireland and Whitsbury Manor Stud in England. He was out of Ireland’s 2002 Broodmare of the Year, the Gulch matron Market Slide.