Hattori Hanzo Fights!
Mar 13, 2016
It was a nail-biting few seconds as we awaited the result of a photo finish to Saturday's Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes - our talented up-and-comer Hattori Hanzo hitting the line late to prevail in the tightest of finishes.
Having loomed up at the turn, the lightly raced three-year-old appeared to hit a flat spot half way down the straight but he just kept coming, putting his nose down right where it counted.
"We had to ride him upside down today," Michael Kent explained. "When you ride him off the speed he is a really good chaser. Halfway up the straight you could see he had more there but he was floating a bit."
"When the other horse came at him it spurred him on."
The winner of three in a row Hattori Hanzo has gone from strength to strength since being gelded.
Rising in class off a BM64 victory at Moonee Valley on February 26, Hattori Hanzo looked to be better placed in a 1600m event but the 1500m Phar Lap Stakes was the only suitable race around for him.
"There is a lack of mile races for three-year-olds at the moment," Michael Kent said, happy to gamble on Hattori Hanzo's natural ability - "he is a nice horse so we gave him his chance."
It was a second Phar Lap Stakes victory for Kent who trained Blackie to his 2011 success.
The winning ride was a triumph for Noel Callow who doesn't often ride at 56.5kg - "it pulls me up a bit... but it was worth it!"
Callow noted that Hattori Hanzo will be improved by his first test around the Sydney way of going. "When I hit him he shifted pretty hard to the left. I switched the whip but that let the second horse get up inside him. I was rapt he got the bob."
The Group 2 Tulloch Stakes over 2000mat Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day is next in line for Hattori Hanzo, Kent describing that race as "a good progression for him."
"He is a nice horse who has stepped up to the plate every time we have risen the bar."
A $185,000 Easter graduate bred by Jorshan Investments, Hattori Hanzo is a son of Sebring and the city placed Marauding mare Steal My Love. Also dam of the Group 3 winner Amorino, she is a half-sister to the dual Group 1 winner Danendri.
A granddaughter of the 1000 Guineas winner Copperama, Steal My Love was served last spring by Stratum.
Hattori Hanzo's victory was part of a big day for part owner Rick Jamieson who was represented by his second Newmarket Handicap winner - being the breeder of Black Caviar and The Quarterback.