Trainer Derek Cruz got his season away to a belated start in style with a bookend double yesterday. Only one trainer now remains to get off the mark for the term with 11 meetings down, after Cruz teamed up with jockey Howard Cheng Yue-tin and nine-year-old Brown Beauty to open the day's proceedings in the Luard Handicap (2,200m), then added Operation Secret (Cheng) to close the first 11-race card at the track. Brown Beauty was stepping up to the 2,200m trip at just his second run since May, but the injury-plagued gelding got a great trip from gate one to prove too good and Cruz said the bay may be close to retirement. 'Everything just happens a bit too fast for him now at any distance except this, so there aren't many opportunities with Brown Beauty these days,' Cruz said. 'He's had plenty of problems over the years - he's a had a bad tendon for a few years now but he is still trying and the owners are happy to get a win. He may have one more run while he's in form and then they might call it a day and retire him.' That's a luxury that is still some way off with Operation Secret but the gelding gives the impression that, when retirement comes, it will be well-earned, too. Yesterday's win was his third from 17 starts with seven other minor placings, so he is paying his way, and Cruz takes particular pleasure in that as he went to New Zealand to ride the five-year-old as a younger horse before recommending him to long-time client Dr Chan Ho-ming. 'He has started the season well, with a nice run for Howard first time out. Howard has been riding very well so we were happy to stick with him again today and he's done the job well,' Cruz said. 'Operation Secret needs his runs to be spaced, but give him that and he is very honest. It's nice to have him in form so quickly.'