Hattori Hanzo has produced an impressive late turn of foot to win the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) in a photo finish at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Hattori Hanzo was rated virtually no chance of success in the Phar Lap Stakes this afternoon but was pressed forward from the outset by jockey Noel Callow, who ensured there would be no questions left to be answered by the horse.
Setting a quick tempo alongside the likes of Believe and Man Of Choice, the Sebring gelding locked in a fierce sprint battle late in the Phar Lap Stakes and was revealed to have bobbed his head at the right time after passing the post in a line with Man Of Choice, Believe and favourite Old North.
Trainer Mick Kent was thrilled his decision to float the Cranbourne-based galloper north for the Phar Lap Stakes paid dividends, and underlined the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) in a fortnight as the next point of call for the exciting three-year-old.
“I said to Noel this looks to be a terrible spot to be if you go back,” Kent said.
“When the other horses came on him it sort of spurred him on. It was great for Noel too because he’s stuck with the horse.
“There’s a lack of mile races at the moment for three-year-olds (in Melbourne) and I’ve won this race before. He would have gone straight to the Alister Clark otherwise which is 2000m so I thought I’d take this opportunity and give him his chance.
“We’ll probably go to the Tulloch in two weeks. It’s a nice progression in two weeks.”
Callow delivered a typically forward ride on Hattori Hanzo to win the Phar Lap Stakes and is confident the horse will continue to find the bar as it is raised this time.
“56kgs pulls me up a bit but it was worth it,” Callow said.
“He got the bob. It was obviously first time around this way and he shifted pretty hard to the left, so I switched it but it let the second horse get up there, so I was glad he got the bob.
“He’s progressed really quickly. He was a bit soft first-up when Craig rode him but won well at Sale. Every time the bar has be raised he’s come to the plate.”’
Hattori Hanzo has posted three wins and a minor through only six career starts since debuting in July last year.