Refuse to Bend, Azamour Victorious in Ascot Opener

Godolphin Racingês Refuse to Bend, sent off at 12-1 odds due to his recent lack of success, returned to the winnerês enclosure Tuesday when he posted a narrow victory in the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) on the opening day card of the Royal Ascot meet at Ascot, England.

A 4-year-old son of Sadlerês Wells--Market Slide (by Gulch) covered the straight mile over a turf course rated –good to firm” in 1:39.14, defeating 4-year-old filly Soviet Song by a neck. Six Perfections, the 5-2 favorite in the 16-horse field, finished sixth.

Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Refuse to Bend became the sixth Queen Anne victor for Godolphin in the last nine runnings of the classic.

In the co-featured St. Jamesês Palace Stakes (Eng-I), Azamour stormed to the front late under Mick Kinane and posted a neck triumph over Diamond Green.

Trained by John Oxx for breeder His Highness The Aga Khanês Stables, the 3-year-old son of Night Shift--Asmara (Lear Fan) raced the mile over the round course in 1:39.02, just off the course record set by Russian Rhythm.

Haafhd, the English Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner sent off as the 3-2 favorite, gave up the late lead and finished fourth. Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) winner Bachelor Duke, was seventh.

Also on the Royal Ascot card, Iceman won the Coventry Stakes (Eng-II) and The Tattling took top honors in the Kingês Stand Stakes (Eng-II).

A 2-year-old son of Polar Falcon--Virtuous (Exit to Nowhere) trained by John Gosden for owner-breeder Cheveley park Stud, Iceman got the six furlongs in 1:14.83 as the 5-1 co-favorite, with Godolphinês Council Member, also at 5-1 odds, second.

The Tattling, a 7-year-old gelded son of Perugino trained by Milton Bradley for Dab Hand Racing, raced five furlongs in 1:00.16 as less than five lengths separated the top 10 finishers in the 19-horse Kingês Stand field.