River Of Stars battled hard to take the William Hill Bronte Cup Fillies’ Stakes for Ralph Beckett at York.
The Sea The Stars four-year-old won a Listed race at Chester last season before heading to Doncaster and coming home fifth in the Park Hill Stakes.
On the latter occasion the winner was Mimikyu, the 3-1 favourite for the York rematch as River Of Stars went off at 4-1 under Rossa Ryan.
Ryan kept the filly near the front of the field of nine and in the home straight it was the two Doncaster rivals who locked horns, crossing the line almost in unison as a photo finish was required to identify Beckett’s horse as the short-head winner.
“It played out well, if it wasn’t her first run of the year I’d have probably let her roll along,” said the jockey.
“In the middle part of the race we filled up a lot, you can see from the top of the straight she was just being a bit lairy.
“Kieran’s horse (O’Neill, Mimikyu) has just dragged me into the race, she knew where the line was and she stuck it out well.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if she gets a small bit further but it’s worked out great.
“Ralph’s been aiming her at this for a while and it worked out lovely.
“She had a lot to turn around from the Park Hill with the winner, but she’s turned it round.
“She’s a light enough filly and I’d say she quite enjoyed that good ground, she’s just a bit on and off the bridle the whole way.
“If they don’t get away from her, like they didn’t today, she grinds it out well.
“She’s very versatile and it’s good for the owners, the team at home have done a great job, they’ve stuck faith in her and she’s paid them off.”