ZAC Purton confirmed his place as the leading jockey in Hong Kong with the best win of his career on local hope Dominant in Sunday's $HK15 million ($2m) Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.

TONY BOURKE reports for THE AGE that in a muddling run race, Purton had Dominant in the middle of a packed field before gaining a split at the top of the straight then dashing away with what proved to be a winning break.

To the roars of a very parochial crowd, the John Moore-trained six-year-old held off the late finishes of hot favourite The Fugue and the evergreen Dunaden.

Dominant won by three quarters of a length from The Fugue, which had dropped back to near last nearing the home turn with Dunaden, winner of the race in 2011, a short head away in third.

It was the third win of the day at Hong Kong's most prestigious meeting for both Purton and Moore. Before Sunday's meeting, Purton was 22 wins clear of long-time champion Douglas Whyte in the Hong Kong jockeys' premiership.

Despite Dominant living up to his name, there was a string of hard luck stories behind him, particularly for runners coming out of this year's Melbourne Cup.

Dunaden ran right up to his best form but Red Cadeaux, which won the race last year and had finished runner-up for the second time in the Melbourne Cup last month, finished fourth after never being closer than four wide for the entire 2400 metres.

Trainer Ed Dunlop was full of praise for his mighty warrior, which has won almost $8m in prizemoney. ''We knew he might find it hard to get in from his wide barrier but watching him stuck out where he was all the way was hard to take,'' Dunlop said. ''At this stage, we plan to press on with him [next year], and we are looking at Dubai and the Sydney races in the autumn for him.''

Irish stayer Simenon followed his Melbourne Cup fourth with a close up fifth, but Mount Athos gave Craig Williams a torrid ride, racing too keenly on the slow pace and dropping out from the turn.

Japanese sprinter Lord Kanaloa won the Hong Kong Sprint for the second year in a row with a brilliant gallop, running the 1200 metres in 1.08.25.

Whyte got among the big-race winners when riding the John Size-trained Glorious Days to an impressive first-up victory in the Hong Kong Mile.

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