Graphic fancied for Moore success in Diomed Stakes
Graphic has an upwardly mobile profile and looks value to prevent Gregorian landing back-to-back successes in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom today (2.45).
The William Haggas trained gelding showed progressive form when winning three handicaps last season, and has taken the step up into Listed company in his stride.
The five-year-old showed a good attitude when bearing Fencing by a neck at Doncaster and then went down by just two lengths to Ocean Tempest at Ascot.
Both those race were over a mile, but the step up to 1m 1f should not be beyond Graphic whose free-running style should suit the track.
The son of Excellent Art also has race fitness on his side, remains open to further improvement, and the services of three-times champion jockey Ryan Moore for the first time this season.
Gregorian, who won the contest 12 months ago, sets the standard on form and looks the obvious one standing in the way of success for Graphic.
The John Gosden trained five-year-old also won the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last season, where he beat Soft Falling Rain by 1 1/2 lengths, and is officially rated 2lb higher than Graphic.
However, his form tailed off at the back end of last season, and although this contest represents a drop in class, Gregorian needs to bounce back on his first run for 230 days.
There also has to be a slight question as to whether he has reached his peak, and the younger Graphic is sure to exploit any chinks in his armour.
Others worth a mention are the ultra-tough veteran Penitent, who bounced back to form when winning at Haydock but faces a stiff task conceding weight in this grade, and the Godolphin-owned French Navy who won a similar contest at Goodwood last time out and looks sure to run another solid race.