What Tony Cruz is doing for the career of star apprentice Marco Chui Kwan-lai is truly inspirational. Here is a man who has done a most un-Hong Kong thing, literally costing himself some winners in the short term, to breathe life into a glorious vision not only for Chui, but all racing fans. And, yes, for Cruz himself. Whatever your passion in life, imagine the euphoric feeling of privilege at being able to spend quality, personal time with one of the world's best exponents in your chosen field. And more than that, to have that expert devoted to your case and showing unwavering belief that you can achieve these distant dreams. That's what's happening with Chui, and the progress the young man is making in this fertile environment is quite astonishing. As the famous American architect and philosopher Frank Lloyd Wright once said: 'The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.' Cruz is indeed making it happen. He noticed Chui's potential before anyone else and put the lad on his first winner. And his second, and his third - and Chui was not even his allocated apprentice. Since stewards transferred Chui to Cruz's care earlier this season, the relationship has flourished. Cruz has had 205 starters and Chui has ridden 115, making him a de-facto stable jockey, landing 13 winners - 50 per cent of the stable's 26 win haul - at a strike rate of 11.3 per cent. But he is also doing the right thing by the lad and not pushing him too far, too soon. He regularly calls on the matured skills, strength and experience of Felix Coetzee, Brett Prebble, Christophe Soumillon or Gerald Mosse while Chui's development is a work in progress. Cruz was not just a good jockey, but one of the greats. Those who rode against him still marvel at his championship qualities, his intuitive feel for a thoroughbred and his incredible race instincts which translated into split-second, winning decisions. Not to mention the ultimate skill - horses loved to run for him. Cruz differs from many elite sportsmen because a large part of what he does is for the fans. He knows that without the fans, there is no racing game. He takes a lot of energy from the way they pay homage to him - their idol - and he strongly believes the time is right for Hong Kong to have another home-grown champion. Cruz has total faith he can make the difference between Chui being just another good apprentice who fades away as his claim is whittled away and something far more substantial - a locally developed star, one the fans can call their own. Cruz offers a challenge: 'Give me one good reason why we can't develop a jockey who is as good as the expatriate boys, Douggie Whyte or the rest of them.' But don't think about arguing with history in the making. Another Wright line may be appropriate to describe Cruz, whose approach to the business is often unorthodox but always delivered with passion. And while Wright was talking about his own expertise, architecture, we can believe it applies to the leaders of any profession. 'Every great architect is - necessarily - a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.'