John Moore is a legend of the Hong Kong training ranks, but he completed a personal career milestone on Sunday when he finally added the Group One Longines Hong Kong Vase (2,400m) to his record with Dominant, the first local horse to win the Vase in 15 years.
Moore has now won all four of the Hong Kong International Races, having won the Cup with Motivation (1993), the Mile with Able One (2011) and the Sprint with Inspiration (2008).
The Vase is traditionally Hong Kong's weakest link and a race that has only been won once by a local horse - Ivan Allan's Indigenous in 1998.
But Dominant proved too strong for the international stayers after breaking away from the field at the top of the straight, holding off The Fugue and 2011 winner Dunaden to win by three-quarters of a length.
Moore couldn't hide his shock at the gelding's victory, especially from barrier 12.
"It's a big surprise. Drawing the outside, I thought he had no chance at all, but we've had a lot of luck and he's won," Moore said.
Winning jockey Zac Purton echoed Moore's thoughts.
"It was probably the one I didn't expect to win, but you'll take any of them for sure," Purton said.
"It worked out well for him when they steadied up, he appreciated the even tempo and I thought I'd kick him away at the top of the straight. Thankfully, he had enough in the tank."