'Once I saw the head-on film, I knew the placings would be reversed,' trainer says after Bullish Luck is handed last race Tony Cruz opened the new year at the same speed he left the old, completing a double in the final two races at Sha Tin and getting double value for his stewards' room decision in the final race with favourite Bullish Luck. Bullish Luck was second past the post, beaten a nose by the John Size-trained Super Kid. But when stewards reversed the placings as a result of interference from Super Kid close to the line, it actually made a two-win difference to the trainers' premiership. 'I'm creeping up on him - I'm hanging in there,' said Cruz triumphantly after the mandatory winner's circle photographs. The inquiry-driven victory saw Cruz take over second placing on the trainer's list from John Moore, though he still trails Size by seven. Size, who won the seventh with $36 chance Wintrow, had been delighted at Super Kid's second 'win' in four starts since arriving from New Zealand, where his form had included a win in the Waikato Guineas (Group Three) and a third in the Group One Bayer Classic. But the reigning champion trainer was not about to argue with the validity of the ruling, quickly putting aside the disappointment with the industry's timeless summary comment 'that's racing!' Cruz, in contrast, quickly popped into overdrive. The six-times champion jockey turned trainer has had a cracking six weeks, with a four-timer at the international trial meeting, a Group One double [Silent Witness and Lucky Owners] on international day and a treble at the Boxing Day fixture. 'The stewards' inquiry caught me a little by surprise but once I saw the head-on film, I knew the placings would be reversed and we'd get the race,' Cruz said. 'The other horse [Super Kid] has come out and bumped my horse hard, and the margin was only a nose. He had to get it.' Cruz also won the afternoon's feature race with progressive Danehill four-year-old Hidden Dragon, who made short work of his opposition in the $2.3 million Group Three Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1,400 metres). Felix Coetzee had an armchair ride on the horse, who registered his sixth win from only 15 starts with consummate ease. Relishing the good-to-fast ground, the handsome bay horse raced away in the concluding stages to defeat Smart Winner (Dominique Boeuf) by 261/4 lengths, with Gem of India (Robbie Fradd) a neck away third. 'He was a much happier horse today on the firmer ground,' Cruz continued. 'His last run [when second to Meridian Star on November 8] he couldn't really get his footing. Today was much better and he really showed what he can do.' Coetzee said Hidden Dragon had stepped to a new level. 'He travelled nicely for me and wasn't bothered when the speed slackened up front,' Coetzee explained. 'In the straight, there was a bit of a gap between Great Delight and The Duke and I was tempted to take it, but I quickly decided it wasn't worth the risk. 'He was going so strongly and was clearly going to win the race, and going through a small gap like that, and taking the risk of one of the other horses doing something wrong, could have brought us undone. So I switched to the outside off all three horses [including leader Prime Witness] and he put the issue beyond doubt straight away. 'He's come a long way, this horse, and who's to say he's finished yet. But today was his best effort yet, no doubt about that.' Hidden Dragon was purchased as a yearling at the 2001 William Inglis Australian Easter Sale by Sydney-based agent Anton Koolman, who had to go to A$700,000 for the son of dual New Zealand Group One winner Ballroom Babe. The handsome bay is now a Group winner and a potential future stallion when his racing days are over, as the commercial appeal of sons of the late Danehill shows no signs of abating. Coetzee's first day at the office in the new year provided a treble, as he had earlier partnered the Geoff Lane-trained Sanbenito ($244) to win the eighth race in the afternoon's biggest upset. The only negative in the South African's day was a minor one, with stewards asking him why he had not raised a protest when Bullish Luck was nosed out of the last race. 'Felix Coetzee told us that he had seen the inquiry sign go up and he already knew the situation would be looked at by the stewards,' said chief stipe Jamie Stier. 'Nevertheless, we reminded him that he has an obligation to the owners, the trainer and the many punters who support racing to put in his own objection if he believes that interference has cost him a win or a placing. In the end, the stewards were comfortably satisfied that Bullish Luck would have won the race had the interference not occurred,' he summed up.