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Haydock preview: Bermondsey tough to beat

Bermondsey shaped with bundles of promise on debut and looks a worthy favourite to land the 1m maiden which opens today’s six-race card at Haydock (14.10).

The Luca Cumani-trained colt caught the eye in no uncertain fashion when seventh of 12 to Winter House in the Wood Ditton Stakes at Newmarket.

Bermondsey pulled hard and pressed the leader travelling strongly, and only faded inside the final furlong to be beaten five lengths.

It was a highly encouraging start considering the three-year-old took such a firece hold for much of the contest, and the form of the race has worked out extremely well.

The runner-up, fifth and sixth have come all out an won since, and Bermondsey finished just 3/4 of a length behind Exosphere who bolted up off a mark of 87 on handicap debut when last seen in action.

That form reads extremely well in the context of this contest as Bermondsey’s main rival on paper is the 80-rated Miracle Ninetynine who has already had five starts.

Bermondsey is also sure to come on a bundle for the experience and remains open to any amount of progression, and this looks a glorious opportunity for the beautifully bred son of Galileo to get off the mark.

In the 6f maiden (14.40), Basma is going to be tough to beat if building on a highly promising debut run over course and distance.

The Barry Hills trained filly looked badly in need of the experience when finishing a fast finishing fifth of 10 to the highly-regarded Ring Of Truth two weeks ago.

After being slowly away and held-up at the rear, Basma ran green and was denied a clear run a furlong from home before keeping on well under a hands and heels ride to be be nearest at the finish an beaten 4 3/4 lengths.

It was a very encouraging start to the daughter of Exceed And Excel’s career, and one which suggested Basma needed keeping firmly onside and would have little difficulty winning a race of this nature.

Express Himself has posted two solid efforts this season to make the frame, and can gain a deserved success in the 1m handicap (15.40) now partnered by Ryan Moore for the first time.

The four-year-old won twice last season, including over course and distance, and ran a stormer last time out when third of 13 to Musaddas in a hot handicap at Newmarket.

That form reads extremely well in the context of this slightly less taking affair, and Express Himself looks weighted to take all the beating off an unchanged mark of 83.

Selections:
14.10: Bermondsey (NAP)
14.40: Basma (NB)
15.10: Bartholomew Fair
15.40: Express Himself
16.10: Cosmic Statesman
16.40: Knight Of Wands
17.10: Tamasha