Tony Cruz was able to say 'mission accomplished' last night after new acquisition Hello Pretty returned to racing with a first-up win that spoke eloquently of his ability and shouted promised of even more to come. Hello Pretty was the day's hottest tip as he had been programmed to win the Sa Sa Ladies' Purse ever since he joined Cruz's stables during the summer break. He simply had to win as his owner, Simon Kwok Siu-ming, is chairman and chief executive of Sa Sa International Holdings Limited and the man in the spotlight on one of Hong Kong's most popular sponsored race days. 'I suppose there was a bit of pressure on me, because it was so important to Simon that the horse won today, but I had total confidence in this horse,' said Cruz, who has now won the Ladies' Purse for three straight years, having previously led in Russian Pearl and Willie Detroy. 'When he first came to me, I can't say I was that impressed. He was quite light, he was all wrong in the coat and he was a bundle of nerves. He'd take fright at the tiniest thing, even something simple like turning a hose on. 'But we've worked with him and slowly but surely, he's started to come around. As he's become more relaxed, he's put on more muscle and condition and you could see today, he's a much stronger horse than previously. But I'd say the biggest plus with this horse has been the improvement he's made in temperament.' Brett Prebble gave the $23 favourite a perfect ride, taking control of the one-out, one-back position and getting the big chestnut to relax nicely as outsider Rum Shot rolled along at an even speed. The favourite was moved to the outside at the top of the straight and loped to the front, probably earlier than Prebble or Cruz wanted. 'I noticed in his barrier trial that once he got to the front, he started to float and never really concentrated,' Prebble said. 'So for that reason, I was hoping a decent horse could come up alongside me and really engage him in the final 200 metres, and that's precisely what happened. 'When Good Ba Ba ranged up alongside me, he definitely ran to the front by about a neck. And that was the moment when we were going to learn what sort of horse Hello Pretty is. Well we found out, he's a proper racehorse. 'It's not easy for a horse like that, first up at 1,800 metres and having to make another rally after another horse with less weight has gone straight past. But he knuckled down and drew away again in the final stages. It was a really good win.' When Hello Pretty was trained by Francis Lui Kin-wai, he stylishly won the Group Two Hong Kong Derby Trial at 1,800m before leading and failing in the Derby, won by Viva Pataca. 'He's now won twice at 1,800 metres and he'll probably get 2,000 metres without any problem, but he might be a very nice miler as well,' Cruz said. 'He'll go on now to the International Trials next month but I'm going to reserve a decision on which Trial - the Mile or the Cup (2,000m). I want to talk to Brett about it, to see how the horse really felt to him, and then assess the horse's progress in the next couple of weeks.' Anthony Delpech initially felt that Good Ba Ba did not run a strong 1,800m and was more impressive at 1,600m, the distance of his first-up win on September 16. 'But the more I thought about it, with a better barrier he would have had a significantly softer run than he had today. The other thing, of course, is that the winner's probably a very good horse.' Kwok ended up celebrating a business bonanza, as well as winning the race. Attendance for the Sa Sa day was a staggering 70,368 [last year 67,040] making this second only to the Lunar New Year meeting as the best-attended day of the year.