The Tony Cruz and Felix Coetzee show struck back with a vengeance at Sha Tin yesterday with a treble to throw off the yard's early season slumber. 'It has been a bit slower than we're used to and I've felt it,' Coetzee said. 'But it's nice to come back with a day like this and so lovely to win for owners like Thomas Liang and his family - they get a heck of a lot of pleasure out of their racing.' The only formal jockey-trainer combination in Hong Kong racing had been unusually quiet in the first three months of the term, with former champion trainer Cruz sitting in seventh on the ladder with 12 wins going into yesterday's card and in danger of slipping out of touch with the leading yards. But Cruz and Coetzee turned their fortunes around as promising young middle distance horses Sure Fit, Country Boy and Raider each scored in the manner of horses which will win again. Thomas Liang Ting-sen is the owner of Country Boy, but the star turn of yesterday's treble, Raider, also races in the colours of his daughter, Lucy Lu Kai-kee, who had top grade success two seasons back with Centenary Vase winner King Of Danes. 'Raider was a very solid win. I mean, the form was there when Bowman's Crossing won last weekend because they made their runs together the start before and there wasn't a lot between them,' Coetzee explained. 'But he didn't get any cover today, he had to do a bit in the run and found the line strongly,' he said. 'He is only a young horse and will probably get a bit more ground as he gets older - well, he gives himself every chance of doing that anyway because he relaxes in his races.' Raider had assembled a very promising two-year-old career in New Zealand, winning the only two Group One events of the year there, and was doubtless bought with hopes of becoming a Hong Kong Derby contender next season. 'That's a long way off at this stage and a lot can happen between now and then but he did it well today,' Coetzee said. Sure Fit, a half-brother to the South Australian Derby winner Showella, has a connection with a past Hong Kong Derby winner, too, as he races in the same ownership as Super Fit. He lived up to the promise he had shown in two earlier starts after making a clean getaway from the start in the fifth event. 'He put the writing on the wall when he finished on strongly last time and he made the necessary improvement,' Coetzee said. 'He really reaches for the ground and he should appreciate a bit further.' The beautifully bred Country Boy is out of a half-sister to Hong Kong galloper Lifeline Express and closely related to the former Australian Horse Of The Year, Mahogany. 'He's a tough stayer, that's his thing. Country Boy does nothing wrong and he just improves a little bit each time,' Coetzee said. Cruz and Coetzee were denied a fourth winner on the card when young French rider Christophe Soumillon was able to coax the best out of Kev Bushido down the straight course to knock out Chariot Of Storm in the ninth event. Cruz-trained Chariot Of Storm appeared to have his rivals' measure inside the final 100 metres but Kev Bushido, ridden quietly yesterday, arrived to win narrowly and and give Soumillon's visiting family members some early Christmas cheer. 'It's nice to ride a winner but even nicer because my father, my brother and two cousins have come over for Christmas and they are at the races today,' Soumillon said. The Geoff Lane-trained Kev Bushido had failed down the straight in two previous attempts for Robbie Fradd and Vincent Sit, and Lane said both jockeys had reported that the gelding did not enjoy that style of racing. 'But he's been ridden for speed down the straight before and today Christophe tucked him in behind, gave him a bit of cover and he produced a finish and that's probably been the difference,' Lane said. 'In Europe, these guys are riding straight courses all the time - not just 1,000 metres but 1,400 metres, even a mile and maybe they have more of an affinity with them.' 'Anyway, it's nice to have a winner leading up to Christmas and that relieves the pressure on the stable a bit. 'We've been fairly quiet but all the chances ran well today,' Lane said. It was the horse's owner, Kevin Shuen Seen-hoi, who had asked Lane to try to book Soumillon, but the trainer has a very good record anyway with French riders. 'I don't know why that is - I don't plan it that way,' Lane said. 'This is Christophe's second win here, but thinking back I've given a few of the French boys their first wins here.'