Red Cadeaux finally delivered a deserved Group 1 success as he fended off his rivals in the Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.
The six-year-old has hit the bar a couple of times at the highest level, most notably when suffering a heartbreaking nose defeat in the Melbourne Cup last year before moving on to Hong Kong where he finished a close third in this race.
However, Ed Dunlop's charge enjoyed a reversal of fortune this time as he lifted the mile-and-a-half prize in the hands of Gerald Mosse.
Johnny Murtagh set out to make all aboard the William Haggas-trained Dancing Rain and he began to wind up the pace at the three-furlong marker.
However, they were lining up in behind to challenge with Mosse producing Red Cadeaux alongside Jaguar Mail well over a furlong out.
The Japanese runner went with Red Cadeaux as Mosse tried to kick on, but Dunlop's raider dug deep and clung on to victory by a short head.
French challenger Meandre stuck on for third, a further half a length away, while Dancing Rain faded out of contention in the finish along with Dunaden.
"He deserved this win - three pixels in the Melbourne Cup last year, no pace in the Melbourne Cup this year and he got struck into in the Japan Cup and we should have finished sixth; he was the leading European horse there. It's a fantastic day for everyone," said Dunlop.
"At the 200-metre mark I thought we were going to get beaten by Jaguar Mail, but Gerald (Mosse) gave him a great ride and he was in the right place. The horse battled very hard today.
"(Owner) Ronald Arculli deserves huge praise, and I'm so chuffed for him - to have a winner here is a huge deal.
"This is our third victory here and winning races like this is what it's all about for me.
"We've been lucky to have great owners and great horses to come here. To win three races, Ouija Board (Vase 2005), Snow Fairy (Cup 2010) and now Red Cadeaux - I'm pinching myself to think he's now won a Group One over a mile and half.
"He's come through the handicap system and he gets better and better - he's a really tough horse.
"I hope the Melbourne Cup handicapper isn't listening to this! We may consider Dubai next as an option, there's the staying race but we'll probably look at the Sheema Classic now."
Maxime Guyon was satisfied with Meandre's effort and felt Andre Fabre's runner had given his best.
He told hkjc.com: "The pace was all right and my horse was quite relaxed throughout the race. We were following the two first home entering the last straight. No excuse, he did well today."
Dunaden, winner of the race last year, eventually finished fifth and jockey Craig Williams said: "Not at his best today, he ran a bit free, I followed the second horse through, he was gallant but didn't have his finishing kick today."
Alain de Royer-Dupre's Bayrir was sixth, one place ahead of the James Fanshawe-trained Dandino.
His jockey Jim Crowley said: "I'm a little disappointed. I was further back I'd like to have been from the draw but I thought he'd pick up better for me."
Murtagh felt the fast ground was against eighth-placed Dancing Rain, he said: "She was a bit disappointing but she was keeping on in the end. The ground might have been a bit quick."
Christophe Soumillon also blamed the quick conditions for Joshua Tree's ninth place.
He said: "I was in a good position but he was a little keen and the ground was probably a bit firm for him."