Mighty Gurkha and Zamaani meet for a third time in the Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Conditions Stakes (6.15pm, 6f) at Kempton Park on Monday, January 25, with a place in the Ladbrokes All-Weather Three-Year-Old Championship on Good Friday up for grabs.
Mighty Gurkha (Archie Watson/Hollie Doyle) had Zamaani (Simon & Ed Crisford/Jack Mitchell) almost three lengths behind in fifth when registering a pillar to post success in the G3 Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Sirenia Stakes over the course and distance in September.
The pair renewed their rivalry last time out in the Fast-Track Qualifier won by Victory Heights at Wolverhampton in early December, with Mighty Gurkha beaten a nose into second under a 7lb penalty, which he shoulders again, and Zamaani fourth in a blanket finish.
Mighty Gurka (blinkers) and Zamaani (yellow cap) at Wolverhampton on December 5
Bravado (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning) brings in a 100 per cent record after completing a three-timer in a six-furlong handicap at Lingfield Park on January 2. That came on the back of minor successes at Wolverhampton and on turf at Redcar in October.
Monmouthshire trainer David Evans is hoping Rohaan (Charles Bishop) can take another step forward after being given too much to do when second to Bravado at Lingfield Park, a ride that led to a 10-day ban for jockey Darragh Keenan.
Winless in two starts for trainer George Scott, Rohaan was on a hot streak of his own heading into that race having reeled off impressive handicap wins at Newcastle, Kempton Park and Lingfield Park in December.
Evans said today: “Rohaan was a bit unfortunate last time out. It was a misjudged race - the jockey thought he would do what he did before, but it was a better quality of race and the horse had more weight on his back. He did all his work in the last furlong.
“Monday should tell us where we stand with him. I thought the way he won at Newcastle, albeit from a rating of 55, was encouraging. Then he did it well the time after that and has continued to improve.
“He has a bit to find on the ratings with a couple of them but if he is going to go for the final, he has to take his chance in a race like this.”
Rohaan’s stablemate Obtuse (Tom Queally) has also been in prolific form, winning his four latest starts in handicaps at Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton. He is declared for a six-furlong handicap at Lingfield Park tomorrow, January 24.
Evans added: “Obtuse is going to run at Lingfield. He probably wouldn’t be in the same league as Rohaan. It is possible that he could do both races, but we will see how he gets on tomorrow first.”
The six runners in Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Conditions Stakes are completed by Loyal Havana (Nick Littmoden/Richard Kingscote), third in a seven-furlong novice race at Kempton Park on January 13.