Local runner Dominant lived up to his name to see off British raider The Fugue in a shock result to the Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin on Sunday.
William Buick had an early mid-division slot on The Fugue but found himself gradually shuffled back and with two furlongs to run was virtually last, just as Dominant, who had raced towards the rear for much of the way, made his move and got what proved a crucial first run.
John Moore's five-year-old burst clear and while The Fugue picked up strongly to give chase, the line came in time as Dominant flashed home with Dunaden close up in third.
Dominant (127-10) was formerly trained in Newmarket by Roger Varian when he raced in the Highclere Thoroughbred colours.
Last year's winner Red Cadeaux was fourth for Ed Dunlop, putting in another big effort having had to race wide throughout.
It was more heartbreak for John Gosden's The Fugue, who was coming off a second place in the Breeders' Cup Turf, where she had looked the likely winner before being swamped by Aidan O'Brien's Magician.
Simon Marsh, racing manager to owner Lady Lloyd Webber, bemoaned the slow pace.
He said: "They went very steadily and it was a terribly slow time. She was last into the straight and so did exceptionally well to finish where she did.
"It was a great run and a fantastic race, she never seems to put in a bad one. She did receive a couple of knocks, but no excuses and we have great expectations for another good season next year."
Dunlop said: "The plan is to carry on and we'll talk to the owner and see how the horse is.
"Dubai would be in our thoughts and we can talk about Sydney (Carnival), but we can't do them both. It was another very solid run, but a stronger pace would have helped."
Mikel Delzangles said of Dunaden, the winner two years ago: "The horse gave his all once again, but was a bit far back off that slow pace, which made life difficult for him.
"He stayed on well trying to catch the winner and it was just a shame he lost second place on the post."
Willie Mullins' Simenon was a creditable fifth under Ryan Moore, who said: "It was as good a run as I could have hoped for as that ground over a fast mile and a half track is too quick for him."
Mount Athos was ninth for Luca Cumani, with rider Craig Williams saying: "That pace was anything but what he needed and it turned into a sprint which didn't suit us one little bit."
Moore said of Dominant, who prevailed by three-quarters of a length: "It's a big surprise, I can tell you.
"When we drew gate 14, my jaw dropped and I thought we had no chance at all. He was given a fantastic ride by Zac (Purton). He was allowed to find his feet and he got to the line even better than I thought he would because I thought he might be just lacking mileage in his legs to do what he did today.
"I was wrong, I erred. Zac Purton, the great rider - we are up here with a race we didn't expect to win."
Moore now has his sights set on Dubai in March.
He said: "There isn't anything here for him so the obvious race to look at is the Sheema Classic in Dubai."