Epsom preview: Investec Diomed Stakes (15.10)

Arod shaped really well last time out and can take advantage of a drop in grade to get back on the winning trail in the Investec Diomed Stakes (15.10).

This Peter Chapple-Hyam trained colt had some top class form to his name last season, including when beaten just 3/4 of a length by The Grey Gatsby in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York.

The winner went on to develop into one of the best three-year-olds in Europe, winning the Group 1 Prix Du Jockey Club at Chantilly before beating Epsom Derby winner Australia in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

That is very strong form indeed in the context of this Group 3 contest, and Arod went on to finish a highly creditable fourth to Australia in the Investec Derby over 1m 4f at this track.

Arod then took advantage of an easy opening to get back on the winning trail in a conditions’ contest at Leicester, and has looked as good as ever in two starts this season.

After finishing runner-up at Newmarket, the son of Teofilo seemed to appreciate the drop back in trip when a cracking one length third of 16 to Night Of Thunder in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes over 1m at Newbury.

That form sets a clear standard in this Group 3 contest, and a repeat is going to make Arod very hard to beat.

Custom Cut finished four lengths behind Arod when ninth in the Lockinge, and there is no reason why the tough six-year-old should reverse the form.

Richard Hannon

That leaves Shifting Power as the biggest danger to Arod in my book.

The Richard Hannon trained colt had some excellent Group 1 form to his name last season, finishing a cracking three length fourth of 14 to Night Of Thunder in the 2000 Guineas at Newamarket before going on to chase home Kingman in the Irish equivalent

Shifting Power also ran well when beaten just a neck to Charm Spirt in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly, and comes into the contest on the back of a success in a Listed contest at Windsor.

That win will have done his confidence the world of good and, with Richard Hughes in the saddle, the four-year-old looks sure to go close.