Main Desire kept her unbeaten record intact with a narrow success in the British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes at York.
Michael Bell’s filly won each of her two starts last season, but had not been seen in competitive action since landing a course and distance success in the Listed Marygate Stakes at this meeting a year ago.
The 12-1 shot was being ridden along inside the final two furlongs, but responded to Danny Tudhope’s urgings to grab the lead late on and she knuckled down well considering her lengthy absence to see off Hey Jonesy by a neck.
Roussel, the 7-2 favourite, was the same distance away in third.
Nick Bell, the trainer’s son, said “She’s very quick and that’s a great result given she’s been off the track for a year.
“It was a blow she got injured when she did last year and couldn’t go to Ascot, but to return with a win is great for the yard. This has been the plan since she came back to us in January.
“It will be Ascot now, she’s in the King’s Stand and the Commonwealth Cup and it’s a nice position to have to choose.”
Tudhope said: “She’s very good, she’s always been highly regarded and is still unbeaten.
“It was unfortunate she missed the Queen Mary last year, she was nearly favourite for that, but hopefully she’ll be there this year.
“I think the King’s Stand will suit her more, but we’ll see what everyone else thinks.”