Something old, something new. Francois Doumen is back again for another crack at the Hong Kong Cup with perennial visitor Jim And Tonic and this time he has another string to his bow in Foundation Spirit, who runs in the Vase for new owner Robert Ng Chee-siong. 'What can I tell you about Jim And Tonic? Every year he comes here and runs a good race,' said Doumen, whose 1999 Cup winner reserves his best for Hong Kong and has never finished out of the first three in six previous visits, earning him a special place in Doumen's heart. 'He's been a fantastic horse and part of our lives for so long,' said Doumen. 'To have had the sire Double Bed, to have bought his mother, bred and foaled the offspring and for him to turn out as good as this has been a chance in a million, a once-in-a-lifetime event.' Jim And Tonic has had five starts this season, starting with victory over Fairy King Prawn in the Dubai Duty Free in March and also including second place in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup behind Silvano, who reopposes in tomorrow's $18 million race. Following a long summer break, he has pleased Doumen in his two starts this autumn with a Group Three win over 2,000 metres and a runner-up spot to Mile contender China Visit. 'I know he only won a Group Three, but he was very impressive,' Doumen said. 'When he finished second, the going was very deep, virtually unraceable. He had a lot of distance to make up in the straight and he found it difficult to really quicken on that ground but was only beaten a length.' There is a new aspect to Jim And Tonic this year in jockey Thierry Thulliez, who has been on board for his last two starts after the often fraught relationship between Doumen and Gerald Mosse finally came to an end. The trainer has been angry with Mosse over defeats here and in Singapore. 'It is not possible to win every time, but sometimes in the past he has been too far back and come too late, but that wasn't the fault of the horse,' said Doumen. While he would not reveal whether that meant Jim And Tonic would be ridden closer to the pace tomorrow, Doumen said he was confident his horse would be competitive again in the Cup despite failing to win in his last three Hong Kong starts. He admitted the gelding was having to battle the rise in international competition and his advancing years but warned against judging him on his trackwork. 'He is getting older and the races are becoming harder to win, but the only way to assess him is on how he performs in the race,' he said. 'In the morning he is nothing to see but in the afternoon he is a star. Jimmy is such an intelligent horse, and he is a little bit clever now too. 'When he is out in the morning he doesn't do much, when you work him he doesn't give you everything, he still has another gear, which he keeps for his races. So if you want to judge Jim And Tonic, I say sleep in, forget about him in the morning and look at him in the afternoon.' While everyone knows Jim And Tonic well, stablemate Foundation Spirit is a newcomer to the Hong Kong scene but Doumen said he should not be underestimated in the Vase. 'It is going to be a hot race but I have some confidence in him,' the trainer said. 'He has had some niggling problems and I haven't been able to train him as I would have liked but he will appreciate the firm going here and he will improve on his form on paper.' That form includes third place in a Group Two over 2,400 metres on his latest start in France, but perhaps his best run came in June when he was sixth in the French Derby behind Anabaa Blue. Just in front in fifth was Milan, who went on to win the English St Leger and finish second in the Breeders' Cup Turf. 'He didn't have luck in running in the French Derby but finished very strongly,' Doumen said. 'He's a mile-and-a-half horse and he wants a fast pace, which he should get here. I was pleased to draw 10 with him because he's a big-actioned horse and I didn't want to be near the inside.' Foundation Spirit was bought a month ago by Ng, the property tycoon who landed last year's Vase with Daliapour only a week after purchasing the son of Sadler's Wells. The Sino Land chairman has both horses in tomorrow's race and Doumen added that he thinks Ng has made another good purchase. 'Foundation Spirit was only invited at the last minute, but I'm very happy to have him here. He will be a very solid four-year-old, but the horse is very fresh and I've been able to train him properly for two whole months for the first time this season. 'I was a little worried how he would take the travel as a three-year-old, but he seems fine and this is his chance to prove himself.'