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Soul fancied to call the tune in Duke Of York

Body And Soul looks to have plenty going for her in a wide-open renewal of the Duke Of York Stakes at York today (3.15).

The Tim Easterby trained filly won four times as a juvenile, including the valuable Wetherbys Super Sprint at Newbury and the Two-Year-old Trophy at Redcar.

The daughter of Capatin Rio then ran just three times last season, but scored in good style on the second of those when showing a game attitude to beat Moviesta by a neck over today’s course and distance on good-to-firm ground.

It was a terrific effort given that Body And Soul’s best form has come on soft ground, and she now meets the runner-up on 5lb better terms.

That should enable the four-year-old to confirm the form, and Body And Soul shaped as if coming back to her best last time out in a Listed contest at Nottingham when an unlucky in-running third to Caledonia Lady.

This race does represent a step up in class, but with the trip and ground ideal it would be no surprise to see Body And Soul cause a bit of an upset at double figure odds.

There are plenty of dangers, and two rivals worthy of utmost respect are Astaire and Jack Dexter.

The former is trained by Kevin Ryan and had some every smart form as a juvenile.

The son of Intense Focus won four of his five starts, including the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes on soft ground over course and distance and the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

In both those races, Astaire showed blistering early speed and that early dash was again in evidence on his seasopnal reapperance when fifth of 10 to Kingman in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury over 7f.

Astaire led until being headed inside the last, and the drop back to 6f this afternoon looks sure to suit.

Jack Dexter also had an excellent 2013, winning three times and finishing runner-up to Sole Power in a Group 2 contest at Ascot.

The Jim Goldie trained six-year-old relishes soft ground and has a potent turn of foot when on-song, but it has to be a slight concern that he has failed to finish in the frame on two previous visits to this track.

One of those came in this contest 12 months ago, where Jack Dexter came sixth, and the gelding may also not be ideally drawn in stall two as high numbers are often favoured on soft ground.