Wales’ reigning Flat Trainer Of The Year, David Evans could be travelling to Royal Ascot with a live challenger on his hands, after Rohaan won the Pavilion Stakes.
Having enjoyed a solid campaign last year, saddling 50 winners in total, Evans is well on-course to surpass that total in 2021. Evans has just 70 horses housed in his Ty-Derlwyn Farm stables near Abergavenny, but they’ve already amassed 31 winners between them during the first few months of the new season.
The stand-out horse in Evan’s ranks is undoubtedly Rohaan – a speedy son of Mayson, who was picked up by Evans and Martin Wanless at last year’s Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale. Evans knows the family very well, having helped Rohaan’s half-brother Dougan reach a rating of 100 back in 2016/17, and he was delighted to shell out just 20,000 Guineas to purchase this promising sprinter.
It didn’t take long for Rohaan to find his feet in Wales. Evans’ recruit racked up a hat-trick of victories on the all-weather in December, and even managed to beat Diligent Harry, who would later claim the crown of Champion Three-Year-Old on All Weather Finals Day at Lingfield.
Despite his success on the all-weather, Rohaan was largely ignored as he made his return to turf in the Group Three Pavilion Stakes at Ascot in April. All eyes were on then-Commonwealth Cup favourite Supremacy, but it was Rohaan who stole the show, surging home under Ryan Moore to hand David Evans the biggest win of his training career.
“Dave (Evans) has done some great work with him,” Ryan Moore told the press following his win on Rohaan.
“My horse was in good shape, and fair play to Dave and the owners for putting him in here – he got his just rewards.
“Rohaan in the Commonwealth Cup would not be crazy on today’s performance. But the rain just helped on the good ground. It helped take the sting out of the ground.”
The Commonwealth Cup is one of two Group One races staged on day four of Royal Ascot. This six-furlong contest is open only to three-year-olds, and has been won by the likes of Muharaar, Quiet Reflection, Caravaggio and Advertise since it’s inception in 2015. Rohaan isn’t currently entered in the Commonwealth Cup, but if Evans and the owners did decide to stump up the supplementary fee, then he would travel to Ascot as a live outsider.
Supremacy, the horse Rohaan beat, is now the fourth favourite for the Commonwealth Cup with bookmaker Betwinner, who offer the promo code NEWBONUS. Rohaan would certainly feature prominently in the betting if given an entry.
Rohaan is, however, entered in the Wokingham, which takes place on the fifth and final day of the Royal meeting. Evans’ star already sits prominently in the betting for that historic contest, and a first prize of £120,000 could be enough to tempt Evans into taking the handicap route with Rohaan at Royal Ascot.