TONY Cruz has a shaky hold on the current championship lead but should receive a very timely boost in the final event tonight when he partners Accolade. The local idol is three clear of Gerald Mosse but faces the fight of his career if he is to win the title without the backing of brother Derek's stable. But old friend Ivan Allan, for whom he won the Invitation Cup on Colonial Chief, puts him up again on Accolade and they look the ones to beat in this Class Two, 1,400-metre event. The return to the equitrack surface should certainly suit Accolade who was with trainer Neville Begg last season and ran a grand race, course and distance, back on May 13 last year. That race was won by Flowers World, who is likely to be close to favourite in tonight's event, with Accolade a length and three quarters adrift in second place. On that occasion Accolade was giving Flowers World six pounds but is in receipt of three pounds tonight so the hefty swing in his favour easily erodes the margin of victory attained by Flowers World. Almost equally significant was the ill luck suffered by Accolade in this run. Having settled in the rear, Accolade was carted very wide on the stable bend and lost considerable ground. It is difficult to make up lost ground on equitrack - particularly against a good front-runner like Flowers World - so the effort in running second had plenty of merit. Flowers World remains strongly in contention, however, as he put in a top run at the New Year's Day meeting at Happy Valley when finishing third to impressive newcomer Bo Shing Winner. He was only a quarter of a length away in third place in a blanket finish that also involved the useful and unlucky Wind Dancer. As Flowers World is a confirmed front-runner who has scored well on equitrack he is worthy of real respect and looks the most difficult for the selection to beat. But Accolade has continued to work well since his last start with Cruz aboard when he finished a fair fourth at Happy Valley to Peace Gallery with Classic Warrior second and Shaka Zulu third. That form has stood up with Shaka Zulu running a top race 10 days ago and Classic Warrior finishing a stout second to above average Noble Dancer at Sha Tin on Sunday.