Sessions kept a high profile during a winning run last month and his Oakland Park colleague Shooting To Win fared even better with 16 individual winners in September.
Apart from his domestic roll-call, Shooting To Win’s winner-count included Dapper & Victorem (NZ), Lucky Jinsha (Singapore) and Joyful Win (Hong Kong).
Joyful Win (5g Shooting To Win – Miss Kistler by Darci Brahma) opened his Sha Tin account last Sunday after surviving a protest in a hectic finish to the Fu Tai Hcp (1000m).
The Ricky Yiu-trained sprinter had posted four victories at Happy Valley in his first two seasons in Hong Kong.
“He’s an up-and-comer and is very consistent,” Yiu said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he can get up to Class 2. He’s only lightly raced – the specialist and the farrier had to form his off-fore foot into a better shape.”
Shooting To Win sired him from a daughter of Miss Vandal (Don’t Say Halo) who has also thrown Sydney Group 2 winners Eurozone (Stan Fox Stakes) and Miss Marielle (Hill Stakes).
Miss Vandal was bred by Lex and Shirley Piper to win a G3 WATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and her final foal California Vanes (Hinchinbrook) signed off last season in Hong Kong with a win at Sha Tin for trainer Tony Cruz.
Joyful Win completed a Sunday double for Shooting To Win after the earlier win of Picarones in the Fierce Impact Hcp (1400m) at Sandown. She was posting the 1,000th win for Godolphin Australia head-trainer James Cummings.
Picarones (4m Shooting To Win – Anise by General Nediym) was a 2yo winner on debut at Caulfield but had gone winless since Boxing Day 2020 despite black-type fourths in the G2 Blue Diamond Prelude, LR Cap D’antibes Stakes and LR Jim Moloney Stakes last year.
“She was perfectly prepared and was very dominant today,” jockey Jamie Kah said. “I just wanted to be positive after she jumped so well. It was a pretty much push-button and she was fantastic.”
Godolphin’s Melbourne foreman Sean Keogh said Picarones is still improving. “She’s a nice physical and she’s growing into that now. There’s no doubt she’s got the scope to maybe tackle something in a tougher grade.”
Shooting To Win’s September push came off another successful month in August highlighted by Shooting For Gold’s Group 3 victory in The Heath (1100m) at Caulfield. The Steve O’Dea & Matt Hoysted-trained gelding became his 8th Stakes winner and, like Victorem, he’s out of a More Than Ready-line mare.
Sessions also weighed in with a black-type addition last Saturday when Comes A Time landed the LR Black Heart Bart Stakes (1200m) at Belmont. He was on a seven-day turnaround and was winning for the third time in four starts this prep for part-owner and breeder Craig Fox.
“He did it tough in the breeze but race-fitness told in the end,” trainer Michael Grantham said. “I knew he could back-up after the Nicopolis win when I took him down to the beach last Sunday morning. He was marching and rolling around and that told me he would be right for today.”
Shooting To Win (Northern Meteor) is covering his first book at Oakland Park for a $9,900 fee alongside Sessions (Lonhro) who stands for $11,000. Service fees (inc GST).