CORONET just denied Mori in a thrilling finish to the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday.
Mori, who was bidding to give trainer Sir Michael Stoute a record 76th winner at the Royal meeting, looked set to strike as she reeled in Hertford Dancer, only for 9/1 shot Coronet to swoop down the outside in the hands of Olivier Peslier.
In a fascinating renewal of the Group 2 contest, Silvestre de Sousa stole a march on his rivals as he tried to make all on The Sky Is Blazing, building a lead of upwards of 10 lengths - an advantage she still held turning for home.
However, she began to toil with over two furlongs to run, allowing Hertford Dancer to assume the lead which she held until under a furlong to run.
Impeccably-bred favourite Mori - who is by Frankel out of Midday - was the first to edge in front, but then Peslier launched a perfectly-timed challenge to just prevail by a neck on the John Gosden-trained winner, with stablemate Hertford Dancer clinging on for third.
Peslier said: "It was a good gallop, which was a big help for me. After the last corner, I didn't really have the gap to come. I just let the filly come slowly, I didn't want to push her too hard.
"John did say the filly takes a bit of time, but when she comes she comes home well. That is why I didn't panic, I took a bit of time and came late." It was a 16th Royal Ascot success for the French rider.
Gosden was pleased with the performances of both the first and third.
He said: "That was great. There was a strong pace and it was a great test of a mile and a half.
"I thought Hertford Dancer had the race won. She'd been close enough to the pace, but she ran a great race and was ridden well.
"I told Olivier his filly would come on strong late. I thought Mori was going to win and then Olivier came and grabbed her.
"It was a great run from Coronet. She ran in the Oaks and liked the uphill but not the downhill. It was a high-class race today."
The grey filly was another group winner for Dubawi. She is out of the Darshaan mare Approach and was bred by her owners Denford Stud.
Sir Michael Stoute was pleased with the daughter of Frankel's performance, commenting: "She has run a great race. She has just been beaten by a more experienced filly who was able to get the better of her but we are delighted with the run.
"She needs about this trip [12 furlongs] for now. We brought her up to a mile and a half thinking that she would get the trip and she did."
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah, said: "You saw what you saw, she has run a really decent race and has been nabbed on the line."
Gosden also had praise for the third Hertford Dancer. "She ran a gorgeous race. We went a bit bold and the owners said they wanted to run as that is what Royal Ascot is all about. There are some very nice races left for the rest of the season to target and they deserve to take their chances."
REVIEW ALL THIS WEEK'S ROYAL ASCOT RACES IN THE IRISH FIELD THIS WEEKEND