HORSES from the stable of former champion trainer John Moore have rarely gone better as he picks and chooses from some of the world's best jockeys in a bid to lift another Hong Kong title. Two months ago a further Moore championship would have seemed unlikely. His strike rate was around eight per cent and he was not enjoying the best of relationships with his retaining jockey, in this case New Zealander Brian York. It is one of the quirks of racing that since the two split before Christmas, both have flourished. Moore has swept into a clear second place in the Trainers' Championship and now trails leader Patrick Biancone by three while York has ridden a quartet of winners on three separate occasions back in Brisbane where he is again commanding many rides at all city meetings. And Moore seems a much more relaxed man these days - despite the obvious pressure of such a job in Hong Kong. 'It's better for me not to have a stable jockey and I think that has also been demonstrated by the results. 'I have the choice of some of the best jockeys in the world and I am using them. It is an ideal situation to be in and I will continue to use Tony Cruz as a mainstay for the rest of the season,' said Moore. The Australian-born trainer does not seem to have changed his regular routine, but it is very rare for any of his horses to put in bad runs these days - while some like Django and Asian Glory on Saturday at Sha Tin ran absolutely brilliant races. Django missed the start - usually fatal on the 'B' Course - but came home to win while Asian Glory missed out by a nostril after a great run in a staying event. And Moore could win the championship. 'I am in with a chance, that is basically the way I see it. I have some nice young horses in the stable and they are going to win races. It is a question of being able to keep up a sustained run to the end of the season and that has never been easy. 'I will continue to use Club jockeys and Tony and I am perfectly happy with that situation,' he said. With Makarpura Star the favourite for the $5.5 million Hong Kong Derby on February 26, times have rarely been better for Moore who has been around Hong Kong racetracks since 1969. In relation to the Derby, tonight's feature race at Happy Valley, the Stock Exchange Challenge Cup, is fairly small beer but Moore will certainly not be complaining if he can win this one and edge closer to Biancone with whom he has had some lusty battles over the past few seasons. Moore has this time called on the services of American ace Gary Stevens who has had an interesting introduction to Hong Kong racing. With three winners on the board he has been clearly successful and is in demand from outside stables. Moore has him on Splendid who is a horse ready to win a race and looks well suited by the longer Valley sprint over which he has run most encouragingly in the past. Splendid has drawn well in barrier three and could get the run of the race. He has also come home strongly in the past and looked unlucky over this trip, suggesting that he will be a definite factor tonight. Drawn against the rails is Namjong, who sprang a 30-1 surprise at the same venue last week. Trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen has wisely decided to back his sprinter straight up with Peter W. L. Ho in the saddle and the way he won last week suggests that Namjong is by no means out of this stiffer contest. It is worth remembering that this useful son of Bluebird strung together back-to-back wins two seasons ago and has been a good servant to the Ng stable. Quite clearly, if young Ho can bounce him away again from this ideal draw it will be a case of 'catch me if you can'. Irish champion Mick Kinane broke a long run of outs on Saturday when Quest For Gold obliged at Sha Tin and Diamond Treasure is a definite chance in tonight's Cup race. He ran well at Sha Tin last time out for third and has form over the longer Valley sprint. He has drawn barrier seven, but that need not be an adverse consideration as Kinane will be able to tuck him in behind a solid early pace and run home. Diamond Treasure has fair form in good company this season and is another knocking on the door. Given the change of luck last Saturday for Kinane and trainer David Oughton, it would be foolish to leave Diamond Treasure out of quinella and tierce bets. Trainer Derek Cruz also had an overdue winner on Saturday when the sensationally supported Leprechaun (5-2) obliged in the final event for brother Tony. The pair combine again in tonight's feature event with Lucky Glory who has course and distance winning form and has been set for this race. Again, he has not been well served at the barrier draw and this is a slightly stiffer contest than the one in which he prevailed earlier this season.