Trainer Derek Cruz may not have enjoyed the best season of his career, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and tonight it just might take the form of Operation Secret in the Happy Valley Vase (1,650m). Cruz's yard has been in the doldrums and his star performer, Hong Kong Sprint hero Natural Blitz recently retired, but with his new number one, Joy And Fun, griffin Flying Colours and highly promising three-year-old Kildare, the positive signs are there for the future. And then there is Operation Secret, the kind of horse that forms the foundation of any stable - solid, consistent and not without his fair share of ability, chiming in with their share of wins each season to keep things ticking over. The Valley Vase is just such a race. Tonight's feature is not short on talent, but Cruz and the connections of Operation Secret (Olivier Doleuze) have waited patiently for their rewards and that is starting to bear fruit. He has been unlucky on a number of occasions through the season and had to wait until his latest start on May 12 for the breakthrough, finishing with a full head of steam to overpower Super Snippets and Tan Tat Baby at Sha Tin over 1,400m. That is the distance at which Operation Secret has scored both his wins, but previous efforts over this course have left no doubt he is just as well suited by the Valley mile if things pan out. With gate three, the softer ground for which he has already shown a liking and some good speed up front, Operation Secret should come powering over them at the finish. His danger might well come from one of the most in-form stables in town, David Hall's yard, with Clean Sweep (Brett Prebble), another who relishes soft going. Clean Sweep had a long time off with injury before he resumed for Hall on May 4 but the trainer has been able to get three runs into him quickly, suggesting that all is well. He caught the eye over 1,200m at the Valley, before stepping up to the dirt mile last time with a strong-finishing fourth to Syllabus. He hasn't been as kindly treated at the barrier draw as Operation Secret, but has shown some versatility with his tactical speed in the past and Prebble will be able to drop back or go forward as the tempo dictates.