Trainer positive bold front-runner is in perfect condition for Hong Kong showpiece Tony Cruz has a fabulous record at the international races, going right back to riding Colonial Chief to win the second edition of the Hong Kong Cup in 1989 for Ivan Allan, and will be a force again on Sunday with bold front-runner Egyptian Ra. More recently, Cruz won successive editions of the Hong Kong Sprint as a trainer with the mighty Silent Witness (2003, 2004) and the 2003 Hong Kong Mile with Lucky Owners. The one that got away was the 2004 Hong Kong Cup, when a less-seasoned Bullish Luck ducked in sharply near the winning post and cost himself victory, going down by a nose to Alexander Goldrun. 'It's great to be involved in these big meetings and particularly to be there with a real chance as we are this year,' Cruz said. 'Egyptian Ra did a very nice piece of work yesterday [Thursday morning] and I really could not fault him at all. He's thrived since the International Mile Trial, done very well.' Most analysts have Egyptian Ra running a new personal best rating when he went within an ace of breaking the course record at Sha tin on November 23, Cruz had 'no doubt' he can do it again. 'He went home after that race and did not take a backward step,' Cruz said. 'As a trainer, you are always looking for indications that a horse has been physically affected by a hard race but this horse showed none. He didn't really lose any weight after that race and has continued to thrive in the three weeks since.' Cruz believes that for whatever reason, he and Egyptian Ra have really clicked. 'If you look at his form, he's had the three runs for me and a second to Viva Pataca, and on that occasion he was not ridden from the front the way I would like,' he said. 'He got stuck in behind the leader and raced too keenly, yet he still ran second. I said at the time that I believe he would have beaten Viva Pataca that day as well, if he'd been allowed to run freely the way he likes.' On Thursday, Marco Chui Kwan-lai rode Egyptian Ra in his final gallop over 800m on the all-weather track. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old went over the distance in 48.7 seconds, the final 600m in 35.4 seconds and the ultimate 200m in 11.25 seconds. 'Marco said he felt perfect,' Cruz said. Egyptian Ra came to Cruz at the end of last season. It was a surprise move because his previous trainer David Hall had done an outstanding job, taking the chestnut from Class Three to be competing in Group races and most racing folk would have thought him to be fully explored. The reason for the change, ostensibly, was that owner Cheng Keung-fai believed he would have greater access to his jockey of choice, Felix Coetzee, at Cruz's stables than he did at Hall's. Cheng, Cruz and Coetzee - the expanded 'C Team' - also have Danesis engaged in the final event on Sunday, the Johannesburg Handicap (1,600m). Danesis, Hong Kong's record-priced sale graduate at HK$7.6 million, is a last-start winner over 1,650m on the all-weather track. He is a royally-bred colt, by the late, great Danehill and a half-brother to former champion US racer and successful sire Dehere.