Saturday’s racing tips – 5/2 NAP can fend off rivals in York Stakes

Laurens (right) winning at Leopardstown last season.

Laurens (right) winning at Leopardstown last season.

Our expert has taken a look through all of the races on the final day of York’s Ebor Festival and selects a prime contender in the York Stakes as his NAP of the day with Coral on Saturday 24th August.

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3:00pm York Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (Group 2) 7f

Seven furlongs is a very awkward trip, over which there are few genuine specialists. Sir Dancealot is one of those and could run beyond his odds, but the dual-Lennox Stakes winner may find two or three of his rivals a little too classy on Saturday.

Cape Bryon returns to seven after a limp performance in the July Cup and could be a big player. Shine So Bright, drawn in two, could give Speak In Colours the perfect toe into the race if he remains on the inside and Joseph O’Brien’s raider is one to watch. I will be hoping, however, that the fast-starting Shine So Bright drifts over to the centre of the track to help LAURENS set the pace and Karl Burke’s classy filly could be very difficult to peg back once she asserts her class.

I haven’t tried to hide how much I love Laurens in my articles over the past couple of years. I’ve feared she would become somewhat of a cliff horse for me during that time, a worry which meant I didn’t back Laurens when she defeated Alpha Centauri in last year’s Matron Stakes. I didn’t make that mistake last month, NAPing Laurens in the Prix Jean Romanet on the back of two defeats and Burke’s stable star rewarded my faith with a fine front-running victory, further increasing her future brood-mare standing with a Group One victory at four.

An appearance at York wasn’t the plan earlier in the season. Likable owner, John Dance has been so impressed with the way she’s come out of that victory at Deauville, he and Burke have decided to slot it into their schedule and the crowd at York will give Laurens a royal welcome.

This will be the first time since the beginning of her career that Laurens has dropped back to a trip below a mile. Yet, front-runners have ruled the roost at this years Ebor meeting and I fancy my favourite horse in training still has enough in her legs to stretch out some speedier rivals. Despite winning more Group Ones than the rest of the field combined, Laurens remains underestimated and her current price offers plenty in the way of value.