LOCAL riding idol Tony Cruz slipped further clear at the head of the standings with another double at Happy Valley last night. Cruz took the second race on his brother Derek Cruz's Top News before completing his double with a facile success on the near white, Everbright, in the fourth for his old friend Eddie Lo. The brace of winners lifted Cruz's tally to 32 for the campaign and eased him two ahead of arch-rival Basil Marcus who was himself on target with the rapidly improving Active Luck for his retaining trainer Ivan Allan in the feature Stock Exchange Cup. There was also a double for the Lawrie Fownes-Gerald Mosse team who struck with the progressive I'm A Ripper in the fifth and Crown Counsel in the last on a tricky night for punters. But the evening belonged yet again to that man Cruz who wore a big smile as he left the course. 'The way things have been going of late how could I not have the championship at the back of my mind?' beamed a rhetorical Cruz. 'You guys keep asking me about it and I keep riding winners. 'If only it could stay this way for the rest of the season. I'd be one happy jockey.' Cruz then added: 'Yes, I feel I do have a good chance as I'm picking up some good rides from John Moore and my brother and then guys like Eddie [Lo], who I've known since our days at apprentice school together, are putting some useful types my way.' The inside barrier paid dividends in the second event, with Tony Cruz making every post a winning one from his number one stall on Top News who was freshened up well for this by Derek Cruz for whom he was starting for the first time. Tony Cruz then oozed class on Everbright in the 2,230-metre contest, slowing the pace down before kicking clear from the top of the home straight. Fourth-placed Winning Stallion couldn't get a run for much of the stretch but would not have troubled the winner. Marcus is going to be a hard man to shake in the championship, no matter how well Cruz rides. The triple defending champion produced a copybook performance on Active Luck in the feature event and now the New Zealand bred three-year-old has come to himself he could well win his way into Class One. I'm A Ripper benefited from a move to a mile to record his first career win in the fifth and could well go on from here, especially over even farther. He's a good-looking individual. There were no obvious excuses for the odds-on favourite Top-Worth in the last where Crown Counsel came with a strong run to catch the Marcus-ridden Jharna. Punters also suffered a short-priced reverse when Perkyman could only finish fourth in the sixth, having come together with runner-up Winged Foot at the top of the straight. The race went to the improving Dolphin who appreciated a return to a mile. Darryll Holland, successful on Dolphin, would have won the first with any luck but just couldn't find a gap on Wonderful when he wanted one on the far rail. The race itself went to Sure Day to give the embattled Kenny Kam a third winner of the season.