win by a neck

win (something) by a neck

To succeed or defeat someone in something by only a very narrow margin. Making huge gains during the final lap, the underdog rookie managed to overtake the reigning champion and win the race by a neck. We only won by a neck, but at least we got the conviction we were looking for.
See also: by, neck, win

win by a neck

succeed by a small margin.
See also: by, neck, win