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The decision to geld Hattori Hanzo has proved a masterstroke with the Victorian three-year-old continuing his rise through the ranks with a Group Two win at Rosehill.

Since undergoing the operation, the Mick Kent-trained Hattori Hanzo has had four start,s beginning with a third place before stringing three wins together.

Hattori Hanzo

Hattori Hanzo

Kent’s strategy to choose Saturday’s Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) was based on the lack of suitable races over middle distances at home.

“There’s a lack of mile races at the moment for the three-year-olds and I’ve won this race before,” Kent said.

“He’s a nice horse so we gave him his chance.”

Noel Callow took the chance on Hattori Hanzo ($14) and put him in a more forward positions from barrier six of eight.

Hattori Hanzo and Man Of Choice ($13) fought out a close finish with the margin between the pair a nose.

Callow admitted 56.5kg was at the bottom of his weight range.

“It pulls me up a bit,” he said. “But it was worth it.

“First time around this way when I hit him he shifted pretty hard to the left.

“I switched the whip but it let the second horse get up there. I was rapt he got the bob.”

Man Of Choice’s trainer Luke Price was left wondering what might have been.

“I thought for a moment we had a Group Two win,” he said.

“But it was a great run and he’s shown he can back up.”

The two are likely to clash again in the Tulloch Stakes (2000m) in two weeks.

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