Red Cadeaux, the 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up, has scored a Group One win that will go down as one the most deserved in international racing, taking out the Hong Kong Vase.

Running in his third top-level race in three countries in five weeks, Red Cadeaux survived by a short head to score his first Group One win over Japan's Jaguar Mail with local runner Liberator a further half length away.

As well as being hard earned, Red Cadeaux's win was as international as any victory could be.

The six-year-old is trained in England, owned in Hong Kong and was ridden by Frenchman Gerald Mosse.

"He deserved this win like no horse I've ever had," trainer Ed Dunlop said.

"In this year's Melbourne Cup he lost his chance with the slow pace and in the Japan Cup at his last start he was galloped into.

"I thought he'd have to have broken his leg he was hit so hard."

For Dunlop it was his third win at the International meeting, following those of two of Dunlop's finest gallopers Ouija Board and Snow Fairy.

Red Cadeaux had finished third in the Vase (2400m) a year ago behind Dunaden, the horse who beat him in the closest of finishes in the Melbourne Cup.

Dunaden, the $2 favourite in Sunday's race, finished fifth.