'He might not be very flash but what he is is a tough battler,' Dettori says of Godolphin's star five-year-old It bore little resemblance to his electric victory on Falbrav at last year's International meeting but showman Frankie Dettori gave Firebreak his understated due after the Godolphin horse slipped underneath the radar to pilfer the $14 million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile yesterday. Beaten only two lengths in last year's race behind Lucky Owners and Bowman's Crossing, Firebreak was not one of the spotlight horses in pre-race discussions but was there when it counted in the anticlimactic result. 'He might not be very flash but what he is is a tough battler,' Dettori said of the five-year-old, who snared a first and well-earned Group One with the success. 'He's very uncomplicated but he can't take too many races. Only about three or four is about his limit but one thing for sure when he comes racing he gives you 110 per cent. He doesn't know how to run a bad race.' Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said the horse had been knocking on the door for a Group One for some time and Dettori's ride made the difference in a change of fortune for Godolphin, which had not been successful at the International Races since Fantastic Light in 2000: 'He had won Group Two races but he deserved a nice race like this. Firebreak always gives his best and this has been a great result for Emirates racing. Frankie gave him a great ride.' The charismatic rider had caught a hefty suspension for careless riding at the Melbourne Cup in early November and only returned to the saddle at the Hong Kong showpiece. 'I worked hard to be fit for this - it's always one of the most important meetings of the year. I feel good and everything's worked out,' Dettori said. 'He jumped a bit slow but I was able to get him in a good position and, you know, I wanted to be somewhere where I could attack early. Because I knew if it came down to a fight, he'd fight right to the line.' While Dettori and Godolphin ended the Hong Kong grip on the race in the past two runnings, the local horses were right in the thick of things, filling second, third and fourth. 'He travelled well but didn't get a lot of room in the straight when I wanted it,' said Felix Coetzee of runner-up Perfect Partner. 'Figures was in front of me and he moved out initially and I went inside then he moved back in and I missed my first run. I had to switch course around him to get a real crack at them and should have been closer but I couldn't have beaten the winner. He came to us in great form from Caspar Fownes and he's run so well - I'm sure there's a big race in him.' Fownes, who had suffered the heartbreak of seeing Perfect Partner transferred to Cruz just over a fortnight ago, then had to endure a photo with his former charge before his ultra-consistent The Duke missed out on the second place yesterday. 'What a great run. Considering the ground he covered and what he had to do in the race, he might have won it with a better gate,' Fownes said. Lightly-raced Scintillation also ran bravely in fourth but the best-backed local hope Grand Zulu could manage just seventh after not having the easiest trip. 'He was three wide but not pulling and he seemed quite comfortable,' said jockey Douglas Whyte. 'But I think he showed that he's possibly inexperienced against horses of that calibre and I also think he's looking for a longer trip. When we turned for home, he didn't pick up like he did the other day first-up. He just maintained his gallop down the straight and that was a sure sign he wants further.' Also missing in action were the Japanese runners who have been so effective in the past with odds-on favourite Durandal finishing in the ruck. Seen as another Eishin Preston in the offing, Durandal was unable to live up to his billing, unsuited by the soft tempo in the on-pace dominated event and flashing to the line to finish just behind the placings in fifth. Compatriot Telegnosis also failed to fire after trainer Hiroaki Sugiura said the stallion did not appreciate having to race in behind horses from his inside draw.