ENGLISH stayer Red Cadeaux made up for a luckless run in the Melbourne Cup by taking out the $1.8 million Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin yesterday.
The stayer was beaten by the narrowest of margins by Dunaden in the 2011 Melbourne Cup, and had been strongly fancied to go one better this year.
But on a day dominated by front runners, Red Cadeaux was one of few backmarkers to make ground, working home strongly to finish a creditable eighth.
With 2010 Melbourne Cup winning jockey Gerald Mosse in the saddle yesterday, the six-year-old settled midfield on the outside and moved up to challenge the leaders once heads were turned for home.
The Frenchman got everything out of Red Cadeaux in a punishing finish, holding off Japanese hope Jaguar Mail to win narrowly.
Dunaden, who won the same race last year after his Melbourne Cup glory, started favourite but was struggling as far as 600m out.
With Caulfield Cup-winning jockey Craig Williams on board, Dunaden could only finish a battling fifth.
Red Cadeaux's trainer Ed Dunlop said he was thrilled something had finally gone right for his charge in a big race.
"He deserved this win like no horse I've ever had," Dunlop said.
In another of the Group 1s on yesterday's card, punters who backed Aussie hope Sea Siren in the Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) were never a chance to collect.
The mare, who won the Doomben 10,000 in May and finished second at her last start behind Mental in the Group 1 Patinack Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 10, was caught wide throughout with Jim Cassidy aboard and failed to make an impression in the run home.
Heavily supported on Australian totes, Sea Siren dropped out to finish near last behind Japanese sprinter Lord Kanaloa who had a perfect run in fourth place before taking over at the 250m mark and racing away for an easy victory.