A HALF head and one metre - those are the margins by which Mat Rue missed out on victory during Saturday's meeting at Menangle.
Authoritative ($14) looked like the winner with 100 metres left to run in the Menangle Country Club Pace (1,609 metres) when he briefly hit the lead, before Island Banner ($7, Leonard Cain) on his inside found a second wind to score in a photo finish.
It was an encouraging result for the gelding in his first Sydney start.
For the second week running, Fouroeight ($4.40) had to settle for a close third placing, this time finishing close behind both Lexus With A View ($5, Blake Fitzpatrick) and Vandanta ($2.50 favourite, Luke McCarthy) in the Weddings at Menangle Country Club Pace (1,609 metres).
Fouroeight went hoof-to-hoof with Lexus With A View and Vandanta on his inside over the final 200m, and a surprise burst to the line from outsider Always Rockin ($61, Stephanie Lippiatt) made for an exciting four-horse finish.