The first of four Cathay Pacific International Races at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday afternoon was the HK$14 million ($1.8 million U.S.) Hong Kong Vase (G1) contested at 2400 meters (1 1/2 miles) on the turf. American, winner of the Melbourne Cup (G1) last out, was sent off as the 11-10 choice in the 13-horse field over 4-1 second choice Mastery, winner of the Floodlit Stakes at Kempton last out, and 5-1 third choice Crystal Capella, off her win in the Pride Stakes (G2) at Newmarket. Originally a full field of 14 was drawn but Joshua Tree was scratched on Sunday morning due to lameness.
Crystal Capella went to the front first time past the grandstand through an opening quarter of 26.06, but Mighty High moved up to take over the lead down the backstretch to set slow fractions of 50.15, 1:15.57, 1:40.84, and 2:04.82 over the "good" turf, while being stalked by Jackalberry and King Dancer. Turning for home, the pacesetters tired, setting the race up for the closers. Jockey Mastery, who raced in midpack saving ground around both turns early, came out to pass the tiring Mighty High to open a clear lead at the 3/16. He drew off the rest of the way to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Redwood in 2:27.69. It was another 1/2 length back to favorite Americain third.
Results chart from HKJC with video replay