Saturday’s racing tips – 5/1 NAP to play the lead role in York handicap

Our expert takes a look through all of Saturday’s televised races and selects a strong contender in a handicap at York as his NAP of the day with Unibet.

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3:15pm York Smart Money’s On Coral Handicap (96Plus Race) (Class 2) 1m2½f

Harrovian came home nicely once a gap opener for him at Yarmouth last time out, but this is a decent step up in grade and John Gosden’s charge has never encountered ground this soft before. Richard Fahey’s horses have been in decent form of late and Coolagh Forest is respected, despite being comfortably beaten the last time he was bumped up to his current rating of 96.

I would love to back Dark Vision, who hasn’t been running as badly as people think this season. That being said, the softening ground at York really won’t suit Mark Johnston’s colt and I’m going to take a chance and back JOHNNY DRAMA (NAP) at 5/1.

While in the care of Ger Lyons, Johnny Drama won a high-quality maiden on soft ground at Gowran Oark, beating 131-rated hurdler, Got Trumped and hot-favourite Jassaar, now rated 98, by just over a length. After failing to see out a mile-and-a-half at Royal Ascot, Johnny Drama was snapped up by King Power racing and sent to Andrew Balding to continue his racing career.

A slow start from stall one gave Balding’s recruit a mountain to climb on debut at Glorious Goodwood, but Silvestre De Sousa’s mount finished the race nicely to cross the line sixth. A trip to York followed, where Johnny Drama tried to win from the front, only to be reeled in by Forest Of Dean, who was gaining six-pounds on his rival at the weights.

Johnny Drama comes into this on the back of a poor showing at Newbury, but I’m prepared to put a line through that run as he returns to a course-and-distance he clearly enjoyed earlier in the season. Andrew Balding has been enjoying a strong season and his horses usually handle soft ground very well. Silvestre De Sousa has ridden four winners in the past week and he’ll fancy his chances after landing a kind wide draw.