Peter Snowden’s smart Lonhro colt Sessions has booked their Ramornie Handicap 2013 bid this coming Grafton Cup Carnival following a nice comeback win at Rosehill Gardens over the weekend.
The progressive three-year-old posted their fourth win from six career starts on Saturday with Kerrin McEvoy guiding them to a tidy one and three quarter length victory over the Hawkes-trained Agent in a Benchmark 85 over 1100m.
It was Sessions’ first run in over five months and showed Snowden they were ready to step up to black type company in the coming weeks with their trainer naming the $150,000 Ramornie Handicap (1200m) on July 10 as their main end of season aim.
And the Ramornie isn’t the only upcoming feature Snowden expects the galloper to do well in either, Darley’s head trainer boasting of the high opinion he has of the horse that came back after a number of serious setbacks including a ruptured testicle in January.
“That’s very exciting,” Snowden said of their returning Rosehill win.
“Class horses can do it easily, average horses make hard work of it but once he got into clear running it was three strides and he had them.
“He shouldn’t be racing at this time of year but it is through no fault of his own, the last episode he had with the twisted testicle might have been the making of the horse.”
After winning in track record time over 1000m at Warwick Farm (0:56.23) back in early January Snowden had big autumn carnival ambitions for the young Sessions.
It didn’t eventuate however as they had to have their testicle removed after rupturing it, something that obviously hasn’t affected their abilities on the track.
The missing testicle also shouldn’t affect their future potential as a stallion which Snowden hopes will be boosted with a successful spring campaign.
“He is still classed as a colt and not a rig,” Darley’s Jason Walsh explained.
“There have been other successful stallions with only one testicle.”
The Ramornie Handicap is the first step towards that too with Snowden to use the event as a way to boost Sessions’ overall rating to ensure he makes the cut for the higher class sprint features.
“We might be forced to take him to the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton next month,” Snowden said.
“There’s the Healy Stakes in Brisbane (next Saturday) but I wouldn’t back him up in a week.
“But he needs to get his rating up if he is to go to Melbourne.
“If you’ve got an 80-something rated horse you might as well stay at home because they won’t get into the Melbourne spring races.
“He is a talented prospect and we want to get him to Melbourne.
“He has a good record and we’re trying to protect a stallion pedigree but going into the spring you need to get his rating up.
“I’m mindful to get a stakes win behind him so that when we go to Melbourne we know we are going to get a run.
“He’s one of those horses that are a victim of themselves, they show ability quickly and you rush them and they aren’t ready to get to that level.
“He did a few things wrong in his second prep where he led and it has taken us six months to get back to racing properly. You don’t win races by over racing early.”
McEvoy was also quick to credit the colt after their performance on Saturday believing they had loads of natural ability and would only improve with more track experience.
“He’s got a great turn of foot when he relaxes and that’s what he showed,” McEvoy said.
“Hopefully he can keep showing that and go on and do it in good races.
“We’d like to think he has a better win in him.”
If successful in the Ramornie Handicap with Sessions Snowden will be celebrating a third win in the Clarence River Jockey Club’s premier sprint following recent victories with Jerezana (2010) and Pinwheel (2011).
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