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A drop back in distance proved a winning move for the Gai Waterhouse-trained Hallowell Belle who scored a narrow victory in Saturday’s Listed Darby Munro Stakes at Rosehill.

Hallowell Belle ($6) had constantly run into some of the best of her generation during her 12 starts but notched a deserved stakes win of her own as she overcome a wide barrier to defeat Altar ($21) by a neck with Ever The Same ($8) a head away third.

The three-year-old returned to Waterhouse’s stable this preparation after having her previous two campaigns in Melbourne for trainer Peter Moody.

The filly started her career with Waterhouse with whom she was placed in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes on debut.

A two-time Group One runner-up in the Blue Diamond Stakes and Flight Stakes, Hallowell Belle had finished third in the Surround Stakes (1400m) last start before it was decided to drop her back in trip for the Darby Munro (1200m).

“They (owners) wanted me to drop her back in distance and I’ve just changed a few things around with her training,” Waterhouse said.

“I thought she had a really good chance today.”

Hallowell Belle jumped from the outside barrier and Tommy Berry elected to stride forward during the race to sit three wide on the speed.

The filly battled on gamely in the straight which impressed her jockey.

“It was a top effort and she was probably a class above them,” Berry said.

“She had been getting beaten up by horses like Sepoy. She had to do that today to prove she was back and it was good to get a bit of confidence in her.”

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