Trainer Tony Cruz yesterday described a closed-door stewards inquiry into the win of one of his horses last week as 'an embarrassment' and said the hearing should be 'immediately open and shut'. Stipendiary stewards reopened an inquiry into circumstances surrounding the win of the Cruz-trained longshot Honey Money at Sha Tin last Sunday - a race in which his stablemate Shiny Ribbon was unplaced as $28 favourite - after obtaining evidence of substantial support for Honey Money through Macau betting outlets. Stewards asked Cruz and stable jockey Felix Coetzee if either of them was responsible for influencing the punter(s) who backed Honey Money, which paid $240 (for $10) in the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Handicap on April 23. Cruz and Coetzee assured the stewards that the transactions were 'unrelated to them', with Cruz adding that the money was definitely not stable inspired. Stewards asked Frank Wong Wing-pak and Louise Wong Tang Kit-ling, the owners of Shiny Ribbon and David Ho, part-owner of Honey Money, to attend an inquiry at midday, one hour before the start of the first race on yesterday's Sha Tin card. The owners gave similar accounts, that Cruz had said Honey Money had 'at best, an outside chance' in the race and that Shiny Ribbon had 'a strong chance'. Cruz gave evidence of having backed Shiny Ribbon at his usual level of support. Ho told stewards he was present in the parade ring prior to the running of this race where he heard Cruz's riding instructions to apprentice Marco Chui Kwan-lai were to lead. He said because of Cruz's advice, he had not backed his horse. Mr and Mrs Wong said they were also present when Cruz issued riding instructions to Coetzee for Shiny Ribbon. Wong said Cruz had explained to him that from the outside barrier, it would be difficult for Shiny Ribbon to obtain a favourable position in the race if ridden to go forward. The owner said that in his opinion these riding instructions were reasonable in the circumstances and he was satisfied with the manner in which Shiny Ribbon had been ridden. Cruz said later the 'story of the race' was that Shiny Ribbon jarred up on the firm track and was a sore horse on the following Monday. 'The horse was hurting on that hard ground, that's why he wouldn't stretch out properly and couldn't perform to the best of his ability,' Cruz explained. 'My vet [Chris Osborne] confirmed this to the stewards. He was sufficiently sore and jarred up that he required a couple of very easy days after the race to recover.'