The Sha Tin Trophy comes and goes for another year without a winning favourite, though even the knowledge the race has not been won by the favourite in more than 15 years may not have prepared us all for a 159-1 winner. Packing Winner did not jump off the page as the likely victor of Sunday's race but it was hard not to agree with trainer Peter Ho Leung, who took out the quinella, that the odds were a bit too dismissive. It isn't like Packing Winner could not mount an argument as a genuine Group One competitor. Clearly the outcome was determined largely by Brett Doyle's brilliant ride, with the Englishman making the conscious decision to take up the running and being positive enough to make sure others let him go. But his master stroke was to begin his move well out from home. As his sectional times show, Packing Winner was getting on his way before the turn and taking proper advantage of the lazy time he had enjoyed for the first half of the race. As we mentioned in the preview of the Trophy, Viva Pataca had come off a slow pace to outsprint the leaders last year simply because the leaders held up for so long, and he was able to get within four lengths of the lead before anybody went for their guns. He won with a final 400m sprint of 21.4 seconds last year but was beaten a length and a half with a 21.3 final split on Sunday (though the track was running a little quicker this year anyway). The sectionals told the tale, even without any adjustment for track speed. Last year, Gold Striker went through the first 800m in 48.62, then 23.91 on the circle before straightening in front of a field which had concertinaed. Doyle had it even easier in going the first half in 49.65 this year - they go around the barriers faster than that - but his section from the 800m to the 400m in 23.02 seconds broke the chasers by making them start working early just to hold their positions, then his 22 seconds down the running put them away. Rather than losing the edge by continuing to stack the field up and engaging in a 400m dash, against horses which are quicker, Doyle ensured those chasing would have to sprint for 500m-600m to get past him. Full marks to Doyle, but what did we learn about the December internationals? We certainly learned that Viva Pataca is still going incredibly well. He gave Collection a start, weight and still got past him in the run down the straight, leaving his younger stablemate with only the excuse that his fitness is not yet where it needs to be, albeit something trainer John Moore has been suggesting for several weeks. Stayer Thumbs Up's first-up effort was excellent, Good Ba Ba was sound with improvement to come, while Fellowship still looks a serious Mile Trial chance, where he will again be in receipt of weight from the bigger names. In the Premier Bowl, the signs were perhaps not as good. The fast tempo expected from Lucky Quality never eventuated with Craig Williams aboard and not employing the sprinter's usual tearaway style - the 1,200m Class Five horses went through the first 800m only a length or so slower - and that a bunched finish and plenty of question marks over the on-paper form. Inspiration and One World were solid, Able One was good over an unsuitable trip and Brilliant Chapter made good ground with circumstances against him. It was not easy to make much of a case for anything else as Hong Kong Sprint chances. Sacred Kingdom's handler, Ricky Yiu Poon-fai, appeared untroubled by the prospective local opposition, though it must be said his main worry, Happy Zero, was also at home in his box on Sunday.