Former Hong Kong-based trainer Neville Begg was back in the trainer's stand at Sha Tin yesterday morning soaking up a little of the international racing week that has so many good memories for him. Now a sprightly 73 years old, Begg had a distinguished Australian training career before being based in Hong Kong for several seasons until the early 1990s and he won the Hong Kong Bowl - later to become the Hong Kong Mile - in its early days. Begg, who is also John Size's father-in-law, won the third Bowl running with Winning Partners (Michael Kinane) exactly 10 years ago on Friday. In that year, the race was still 12 months off becoming a recognised international Group event, but Begg returned as an owner in 1995 and 1996 when son Grahame sent out the dual Bowl winner, Monopolize. 'Grahame has a very nice sprinter in Australia now who would have been ideal for the Sprint but the timing didn't happen quite right,' he said yesterday. The sprinter, Our Egyptian Raine, won two of the top sprints during Melbourne spring racing carnival but came to Jockey Club notice too late to have her inoculations for the trip. Incidentally, Our Egyptian Raine has a Hong Kong connection too - she's the mare who narrowly beat David Oughton's Figures into third in a New Zealand Group One race. South Africa's champion rider of last season, Anthony Delpech, probably has a better insight than anyone in Hong Kong when National Currency lines up against Silent Witness on Sunday and he's leaning to the hometown hero. 'I rode National Currency twice last season and won the biggest sprint, the Computaform Sprint, on him,' Delpech said yesterday. 'He is very good and was very impressive at 1,200 metres last time out, but he will have to be even better to come here and beat Silent Witness. Silent Witness knows this track so well, and I've seen enough of him to know National Currency will find him tough.' While Maktub was showing at one end of Sha Tin just how quickly a racehorse can shift from a civilised gallop to a wild rampage with the wrong stimulus, Japan's Eishin Preston was at the other end showing the effectiveness of a hood. Eishin Preston was doing his lengthy preliminary to working on the all-weather, walking around the usual saddling up area for morning trackwork. When a car parked beside the enclosure - and barely 20 metres from Eishin Preston - suddenly burst loudly into alarm mode, the rising seven-year-old stallion didn't turn a hair thanks to the hood he wears at all times. Despite the rapid approach of his finale on Sunday before going to stud, Eishin Preston has approached the Hong Kong Cup as he has his previous four Hong Kong assignments - three of them successful - and assistant trainer and work rider, Kazuo Fujiwara, had a message for his rivals. 'He's been coming here for two years and I've been with him every time,' says Fujiwara. 'Nothing really has changed in any of those visits - he works well, eats well. All that has changed is that the horse has got older.'