Honest by name and honest by nature, Honest Treasure was the one horse of the Tony Cruz string to stand up when it counted to give his trainer an early 50th birthday present. Cruz hits the half century today and was grateful to the modest galloper who has raised his game several levels since joining his yard. 'Honest Treasure is a good, tough horse who just keeps standing up to be counted,' Cruz said. 'I like his character. Today's race was 1,200 metres on the dirt and he only just got there - 1,200 metres is probably the minimum trip for him right now. 'Next run, he'll go back to 1,400 metres on the turf and that will suit him even better.' As Hong Kong's all-time leading jockey with 946 wins and six premierships, Cruz is making a personal effort to nurture the next generation of riders and is delighted with the progress being shown by apprentice Marco Chui Kwan-lai. 'Marco is coming along very well, he's learning from his mistakes and he's listening to what I tell him,' Cruz said. 'He rode that horse very well today and he was very strong in the finish. I'm very pleased with the way he's developing and, as his confidence grows, he should keep getting better.' Cruz is now in third spot on the trainers' championship, which he has won twice, but says the current one-two of Caspar Fownes and Paul O'Sullivan will be too strong for him this term. 'Simply, I have too many numbers in the higher grades,' Cruz said. 'In the Group Three race [Chinese Club Challenge Cup] on New Year's Day, I'll have eight horses entered - it could have been 10. 'There just aren't enough races to keep these horses separated. But Caspar and Paul have the edge on me with a better spread of horses in the stable, they have more horses in the lower grades and that's where the majority of the races are programmed. It's simply a numbers game and on the numbers this year, I won't be able to beat them.' On the subject of his milestone birthday, Cruz said his focus would not change. 'I don't feel any different,' he said. 'I just want to get out there, train more winners, enjoy my time with family and friends and most importantly, stay healthy. I love what I'm doing, nothing's going to change.'