Desennae faces ATA Stakes 2023 litmus test

Jordan Rolfe’s Perth Cup dreams will become clearer after he saddles up his improving four-year-old Desennea in the Listed A.T.A Stakes, the trainer’s first crack at a black-type race.

The Galah gelding faces a litmus test stepping up to 2200m for the first time at Ascot today as he vies for his fourth straight win in an almost flawless campaign.

Four wins from five starts including the past three in succession, Desennea completed a winning hat trick three weeks ago when he stormed home over 1800m.

Rolfe said Desennea had come through the race in top order and he’s keen to see whether he can extend his outstanding winning streak to 2200m.

Currently at $5 with online bookmakers, Desennea is on the third line of betting with Queen Alina the $4.50 favourite and stable mate Black Fantasy next at $4.80.

“We’ve just experimented with a few things as he has stepped up in trip,” Rolfe said to the Races WA.

“That seemed to work last start by going back and ear muffs and the like.

“It’s about getting him to settle and into a rhythm, hopefully we can reap the rewards.

“As long as he travels kindly and with a nice rhythm I think that’s his best chance of running out the race.

“On pedigree it should be easy, my only concern is not knowing, but all signs point to him being able to run it out.

“If he measures up there’s no reason why he won’t on New Years Day (Perth Cup).

“If he’s to run a nice race and pulls up well, all things being equal that’s the logical direction to take.”

Rolfe says patience and maturity has been the driving force behind Desennea this time in.

The lightly-raced galloper has five wins from eight starts since a dream winning debut at Pinjarra in March.

“It’s one step at a time, but he keeps stepping up,” Rolfe said.

“I’ve always had a really good opinion of him, but he needed time to develop mentally and physically.

“I think that’s starting to pay off now.”

Desennea will start from barrier seven and be ridden by regular jockey, Michael Poy.

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