Balding's Shine So Bright just denies Laurens in City of York thriller

Shine So Bright lived up to his luminous name when running out a brave winner of the Group 2 City of York Stakes, denying the ultra-tough Laurens in a thrilling photo-finish.

The Andrew Balding-trained colt jumped smartly under James Doyle to set a decent tempo and was never headed, despite Karl Burke’s star mare closing in at the line.

The verdict was a nose but it was another sterling effort from King Power Racing's colt, who is a best-priced 14-1 for the Haydock Sprint Cup but also holds entries for the British Champion Sprint Stakes and the Park Stakes over seven furlongs. 

Anna Lisa Balding, representing her husband Andrew, said: "I dreamed he was going to stay on and he did, he’s run a hell of a race and James has given him a fantastic ride."

Paying tribute to King Power Racing’s retained rider Silvestre de Sousa, who was injured following a fall at Chelmsford on Friday evening, Balding added: "It’s obviously sad Silvestre is not here for it but all credit to James."

The three-year-old had not been seen since sixth behind Magna Grecia in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket owing to a slight niggle, but has fully repaid connections’ faith following the break. 

"He had a little niggle but it was nothing serious and luckily King Power are very patient so Andrew thought to give him a few weeks and a quieter time.

"This has been his aim for a long time so it’s wonderful to get the rewards. It looks like seven furlongs is his trip."

It was heartbreak for Laurens’ owner John Dance after his pride and joy was narrowly denied on the line.

He said: "You feel proud as they’ve run a massive race, and you want them to win for themselves, but it’s blinking heartbreaking and that’s the third one [photo-finish] we’ve been beaten in this week. She’s run so well carrying a load of weight versus the winner."

On a potential trip to the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp, for what could be her final race, Dance – who was celebrating his sixth wedding anniversary – added: "PJ [McDonald] didn’t rule it out and obviously we won’t have to give weight to everything there. The winner really got her a bit tapped for toe mid-race and he’s battled as well, so fair play to the winner."

Cape Bryon, winner of the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, finished two lengths behind in third, while the Joseph O’Brien-trained Speak In Colours was a length behind in fourth.