Anyone who has been around racetracks for a while can tell you a story about relationships between trainers and their jockeys. The stories are always colourful, often messy and have a conclusion as inevitable as an eastern sunrise - a separation that is clinical and permanent. And then there is Hong Kong's Tony Cruz and his retained jockey, champion South African horseman Felix Coetzee. They work well together and, for the past two seasons, have been rocking Hong Kong racing with a level of performance that is unique in its consistency and rare in its longevity. And there is no end in sight. According to Coetzee, his involvement with Cruz is giving him the greatest satisfaction of a stellar career. 'I came to Hong Kong in 1992 and I can tell you it wasn't always this easy,' Coetzee says, tongue in cheek, as he reflects on the more rocky days when he was retained by local training icon Brian Kan Ping-chee. 'But with Tony, we have a completely different situation. Everything is built on his incredible horsemanship. He knows every horse in his stable and remembers every detail about them. It's quite uncanny. 'Whether it's in trackwork or in races, he can watch from afar and then tell me what I was feeling from the saddle. I guess that's because he was a champion jockey and understands what I'm experiencing out there. I don't mind telling this story against myself, but usually if we have a variation of opinion on a certain horse, Tony proves to be right.' Cruz and Coetzee, dubbed the C Team, could do nothing wrong last season. Hong Kong only hosts 14 Group One races each year - five available to international visitors - but the C-team landed seven of them. Naturally, they had the great Silent Witness to thank for many of them, with the Australian-bred sprinter barging his way through every obstacle put in his path and remaining undefeated, including four Group Ones. The great one's record is now 12 wins from 12 starts, spread across three seasons, and he will again be the headliner of Hong Kong's home team defence at Sha Tin on Sunday. Cruz remembers the day he knew he wanted to make Coetzee his stable jockey. It was eight years ago when Coetzee, then 38, knocked on Cruz's door seeking an audience with the six-time champion jockey. 'Felix came to see me, not long after I had retired, and asked me my opinions as to what he could do to become a better jockey,' Cruz, 47, says. 'I was shocked, but also very impressed. Here was Felix Coetzee, who had won all those premierships and every big race in South Africa, and was also very successful in Hong Kong, asking me how he could improve. That was the impressive part - he was prepared to do whatever it took to become an even better jockey than he was.' Coetzee is too much of a realist to believe another seven Group Ones will come their way for a second season but, regardless of what this term holds, his memories of the 2003-04 term will last a lifetime. 'Sometimes I had to pinch myself. The whole season was one highlight after another. One Group One a year is a nice thing to win. Seven? It would have been impossible to imagine or predict, but it happened,' he says. This season started brilliantly for the C Team. At the end of last month, Cruz was in front by four wins in the Hong Kong trainers' premiership, with the man chasing him being three-times champion John Size. 'I want this yard to be the leading Hong Kong stable again, and it's been the goal right from the outset,' Cruz says.