There was a distinct lack of scandal, controversy and heartbreak, but it had everything else as the world came to the Longines Hong Kong International Races and was sent home with plenty to think about as local stars became global heroes. More than 74,000 Hong Kong fans crammed a Sha Tin where the blue sky overhead was matched only by the blue sky bursting from local performances that claimed three of the four Group Ones, eight of the 12 placings and announced a new world champion miler in Able Friend. The John Moore-trained gelding had given a preview in his lead-up, but that paled as he found an unexpected pace in the Hong Kong Mile that helped him triumph by more than four lengths with jockey Joao Moreira wondering why he had burdened himself unnecessarily with a whip. "Today is a dream come true," said Moreira, who missed the international meeting with suspension last year, but was centre stage as he grabbed the Mile and the Cup. "Last year, I wasn't even in the game, but this year I'm here and winning races." Moreira declared Able Friend the best horse he has ever sat on, and the handicappers are going to agree this morning that his was the greatest equine performance in history by a Hong Kong-trained horse. Today is a dream come true. Last year, I wasn't even in the game, but this year I'm here and winning races Joao Moreira "My initial reaction is that I'll be recommending a figure of 126 or 127, for the win - that has to be ratified by the other world handicappers," chief handicapper Nigel Gray said. "But in any case, the highest international ratings for Hong Kong-trained horses were jointly Ambitious Dragon, Military Attack and Good Ba Ba on 124 and I think he'll be higher than that." Hong Kong won the Sprint with Aerovelocity, the Mile with Able Friend and the Cup with Designs On Rome, the reigning Horse Of the Year who has dragged himself back to the top after a couple of defeats. Designs On Rome will be headed for Dubai and the Sheema Classic at the World Cup meeting, and Moore said he would try to convince owner Dr Cornel Li Fook-kwan that Able Friend should be there as well. "After the Stewards Cup, I'll do my utmost to convince Dr Li to go for the Duty Free, but that might be a long lunch and a lot of alcohol." Paul O'Sullivan's ascension from the ashes continues on the back of Aerovelocity, who is filling the New Zealander's stables again after a few quiet seasons, and gave him his first Group One win since Fellowship in 2010. "I just said to my assistant after the presentation out on the track that it's been a while since we got to walk on the grass'," said O'Sullivan. Even the one that got away was a victory for Hong Kong, as French hero Flintshire, the highest-rated horse at the meeting carried the colours of one of the world's great owner-breeders of the past 30 years, Khalid bin Abdullah al-Saud, and both threw off a bridesmaid tag. "We've had a few seconds, including in this race, so it's nice to finally get one," said Abdullah's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe. "It means a lot to Juddmonte as we are an international bloodstock enterprise and it's very important to take our best horses around the world to prove our stock. Hong Kong is the melting pot between the northern and southern hemispheres, the one place where horses from both hemispheres can compete on a fairly regular basis to get a sounding on the quality and where everyone is coming from." All the boxes ticked and total turnover up to almost HK$1.47 billion left only the question of what is next? Chief Executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said further prize-money increases would be looked at for the 2015 meeting "to see if the club could do even more to bring the best from overseas, but it's wonderful to celebrate our success and it shows how our policy to bring in world-class horses has worked".