The first of four Longines Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday afternoon was the HK$15 million ($1.9 million U.S.) Hong Kong Vase (G1) contested at 2400 meters (1 1/2 miles) on the turf. Defending champion Dunaden was sent off as the 11-10 favorite in the field of 12, exiting a disappointing 14th in the Melbourne Cup (G1) after winning the Caulfield Cup (G1). In to challenge him included 5-1 second choice Meandre, 12th in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after winning both the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) and the Grosser Preis won Berlin (G1), and 11-2 third choice Bayrir, winner of the Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington before disappointing 10th in the Arc.
Jockey John Murtagh sent 13-1 Dancing Rain to the lead first time past the stands, and he set easy fractions of 25.66, 50.19, 1:16.78, 1:42.47, and 2:06.09, while as many as 1 1/2 lengths in front of 25-1 Liberator and 9-1 Joshua Tree stalking him second and third. At the top of the stretch, Dancing Rain began to tire, as 9-1 Red Cadeaux and 52-1 Jaguar Mail broke away from the pack setting up a duel to the line. Red Cadeaux outfinished Jaguar Mail by a short head, completing the trip in 2:28.73 over the good course. It was another 12 length back to late-running Meandre third, while favorite Dunaden checked in fifth.
Results chart from HKJC with video replay