Massimo a Star for Sessions

Mark Smith - Sunday November 24

Pierro was not the only son of Lonhro to sire a stakes winner at Ascot on Saturday as Adam Durrant’s highly regarded Massimo rallied strongly in the closing stages of Saturday’s Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) to credit his sire Sessions with his first stakes winner.

The three-year-old gelding looked to be in trouble when tackled by Laverrod (Toronado) but he raised another effort under William Pike to win by a neck with another length and three quarters back to Niccovi (Nicconi) in third.Sessions the racehorse winning The Shorts at Randwick

It was Massimo’s third straight win advancing his record to 4 wins and 1 second from 6 starts with earnings of $338,300.

He is raced by Durrant and Oakland Park Stud’s Neville Duncan who stands Massimo’s sire Sessions.

The Listed Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic (1400m) on December 7 is Massimo’s immediate target.

“He was strong and it looks like that 1400 in two weeks is going to be right up his alley,” Durrant told The West Australian.

“He had to get up outside of the leader, it was a tricky little race early and I think a pretty smart one sort of came up on his outside in the straight.

“We had a bit of race fitness on our side.

“He’s still learning his trade and as Willie said, he was still going through his gears when the other one went up and attacked him.

“It was a good job to pick up and keep fighting.”

Massimo has a very interesting pedigree.

His dam Highest was a two-time Sydney winner by Marscay and earned black-type when third in the Listed Widden Stakes.Sessions the stallion at Oakland Park

When she was purchased by Belmont Bloodstock Agency for $27,000 out of Corumbene Stud draft the 2013 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale, Highest had two winners from her first four named foals, the best of which was the Danzero mare Altitude. A very talented mare who was a four-time winner Altitude’s main claim to fame is the dam of Godolphin’s enigmatic Exosphere.

Like Sessions, a son of Lonhro, Exosphere numbered the Group 1 ATC Golden Rose Stakes, Group II Roman Consul Stakes, Group II Run to the Rose and Group II Skyline Stakes among his five wins.

From the first crop of 40 live foals by Sessions, Massimo is the ninth named foal of Highest who died shortly after producing a filly by Safeguard in September last year.

The strikingly handsome Sessions has surprisingly struggled for patronage, but he has been enjoying a good run of late with Ascot winners Chatter Session and Put A Spell On You providing good back-up for Massimo.

Sessions is standing at Oakland Park for a fee of $5,500.



Race Result - Tabtouch-Placid Ark Stakes LR 1200m

Ascot Track: Good(4) Time: 1:10.48
T: A G Durrant J: W Pike 56.5
3g Sessions (AUS) x Highest (AUS) (Marscay (AUS))
T: S R Casey J: P Carbery 55
3g Toronado (IRE) x Demasheen (AUS) (Fastnet Rock (AUS))
T: Simon Miller J: Chris Parnham 54
3f Nicconi (AUS) x Fully Chargeable (AUS) (Charge Forward (AUS))
T: Simon Miller J: B Avdulla 54
3f Sessions (AUS) x Xaar Boom (AUS) (Xaar (GB))
T: Luke Fernie J: D Yendall 55
3g Nicconi (AUS) x Dolly's Sundaye (AUS) (Exceed And Excel (AUS))
T: D T McAuliffe J: Lucy Warwick 53
3f Universal Ruler (AUS) x Stubborn (AUS) (Lonhro (AUS))
Stella Door
T: Ms P Kenney J: Joseph Azzopardi 55
3g Universal Ruler (AUS) x At The Gates (AUS) (Bletchley Park (IRE))
High Range
T: V A Brockman J: Ryan Hill 56.5
3g Galah (AUS) x Secret Diva (AUS) (So Secret (AUS))
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