Leading trainers Tony Cruz and John Size started the New Year the way they finished the old, in an arm wrestle at the top of the trainers table and in which yesterday's score was a 2-2 draw. Cruz drew first blood with a solid front-running performance from well-bred grey Honey Money ($44.50), who looked like winning easily in the Class Four event over 1,800 metres but ultimately had only a half length to spare over favourite Socrates. Size replied with a playmaker of his own, with redoubtable Oscar Star (Anthony Delpech) in the sixth before Cruz went one-up again through the efforts of tungsten-tough Better Boy in the eighth, with Size squaring away the day's account in the main race with High Intelligent. Stable jockey Felix Coetzee handled both Cruz's winners and remarked that Honey Money - a half-brother to yesterday's Group One Auckland Cup (3,200m) runner-up Bondy - was a genuine if slightly one-paced stayer. 'I was actually happy to draw out in 13 because if you draw in, you have to kick up to hold your position,' Coetzee said. 'This time, I reversed the role with Master Marauder and was able to take it up and the horse was very happy once he was there, out in front and rolling along.' The other half-brother to Honey Money is multiple Group One winner Count Chivas, who also ran second to champion Saintly in the 1996 Melbourne Cup. And Honey Money gets further infusions of stamina from his sire, Desert King, winner of the 1997 Irish Derby and sire of dual Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva. Coetzee was full of praise for the courage of Better Boy ($32.50), who appreciated his return to the turf and hit the line with all his customary courage, this time prevailing by a head from Craig Williams - one of his three second placegetters for the afternoon - on Inverness. 'He's such a fighter,' Coetzee said. 'When I was coming out at the top of the straight, I just got held up a bit and that might have taken a little off his finishing speed but he really gives all he's got in the final stages. It's wonderful when a horse will try so hard for you.' When the judge called a halt to the January 1 joust, Cruz maintained his lead in his bid for a second title as champion trainer, moving to 38 wins for the term while Size is eight away on 30. But in winning two races from eight runners, Cruz improved his strike rate fractionally to 21.22 per cent.