Yeats gave Aidan O’Brien a long-awaited first success in the Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh – but only just.
Sent off the 4-7 favourite, Kieren Fallon was content to sit off the pace set by stable companion Scorpion.
But when Scorpion went clear with two furlongs to run, the response from Yeats was hardly immediate.
Fallon had to get deadly serious with his mount and his persistence paid off as the dual Ascot Gold Cup winner wore Scorpion down to win by half a length.
The three-year-old Mores Wells finished third.
Yeats remains the 10-1 second-favourite for the Melbourne Gold Cup with VC Bet behind 8-1 shot Purple Moon. Stan James cut Scorpion to 20-1 from 25s for the same race.
Fallon admitted: "I didn't think I was going to get there.
“They didn’t go very quick early on and Seamie (Heffernan) rode a great race on Scorpion.
“My heart was in my mouth for a long time but this horse is very good and very tough. In fact he just wanted it a bit more than the other fellow.”