Leap of faith for Darley

Champion English trainer Richard Hannon prepared his 67th juvenile winner of the year when Stags Leap saluted at Warwick on Wednesday.

Stags Leap (2c Refuse To Bend – Swingsky by Indian Ridge) won his maiden second time out at Goodwood on August 1 and went back-to-back with a half a length victory yesterday.

“Stags Leap is a tough little horse and will go on any ground,” winning jockey Richard Hughes said.  “He will get further, and the further he goes the better he will be.”

The winner was a 110,000 euros buy as a yearling and is the from the family of top-class gallopers Poliglote and Indian Danehill.  The latter was based at Lindsay Park for a sole season in 2002 before being culled to the South Island of New Zealand.

Refuse To Bend (Sadler’s Wells) was a G1 winner of the Irish National Stakes at two and the English 2000 Guineas, Queen Anne Stakes and Coral Eclipse as a three year-old.  He shuttled from Darley’s Kildangan Stud base in Ireland to Australia in 2005, ’06 and ’08.

Refuse To Bend didn’t make an impact with his first Australian bred juveniles in 2008-09.  There were 68 live foals in his initial southern crop and of the 21 that raced, only two won races.

Not surprisingly, Darley announced he won’t be returning this year.