Roganella has stamped his claims as a serious contender for the Listed Belmont Guineas on June 23, with a strong win in the Lavazza Plate (1400m) at Belmont this afternoon.
This afternoon’s $70,000 event was billed as a preview for the Guineas, with a number of the runners engaged having previously featured in blacktype races this season.
After winning first-up on April 28 against the older horses, Roganella then finished a game second to Alpha Sky second-up on May 12 at Ascot.
The Dan Morton-trained gelding was given four weeks between his second and third starts for his preparation, and the plan paid off handsomely.
Jarrad Noske picked up the ride on Roganella, after Clint Johnston-Porter was injured earlier in the week, and it proved out to be a significant stroke of luck for him.
Necklet was the heavily supported favourite, backed in from $4.20 to $2.05, following her last start win on May 12.
Captain Stirling set the tempo throughout the early stages of the race, with Rockon Tommy to his outside, while WA Champion Fillies Stakes winner Art Series was posted three-wide for much of the 1400m trip.
Roganella settled with just two runners behind him for much of the trip, and appeared to be in a bit of trouble at the top of the straight, as Noske looked to find a clear passage.
Media Baron, who was first-up since his third placing in the WA Derby on April 21, hit the front 100m from home and looked set to record a well-deserved win, but Roganella powered over the top to win by a neck.
Morton’s stable foreman Vince Collica said the gelding was primed for today’s run, but was worried about the wide barrier.
“His work has been sensational during the week,” he said.
“It was a bit tricky from that wide gate…but Jarrad rode him an absolute treat.”
State Prosecutor ran on gamely to finish third, with Rockon Tommy in fourth.
Necklet battled on to finish fifth, while WA Oaks and Derby second placegetter Like A Butterfly put in a strong Belmont Guineas audition back in sixth place.