Mike de Kock's travelling foreman, Stephen Jell, has made the bold claim that Eagle Mountain can reverse his first-up failure and win consecutive Hong Kong Cups. Last year's Cup winner made an unimpressive return to the track from a suspensory injury when a well-beaten ninth in the International Mile Trial at Sha Tin on November 22. Yet Jell, who was initially disappointed with that run, believes Eagle Mountain will improve dramatically on Sunday. 'He needed that run badly,' Jell said. 'A lot of people have been saying it was a terrible run, and on first watching the race I felt that way, too. 'But after watching the replays and taking everything into consideration I think now it was not too bad.' Jell revealed the horse started in the International Mile Trial well above his peak racing weight. 'He was 50 pounds heavier than his true racing weight,' Jell said. 'His fitness was the reason for his average run first-up. He has got the ability to win on Sunday, but it has just been a rushed preparation.' De Kock, who arrives in Hong Kong on Friday, has been instructing Jell by phone over the past few weeks. When not on the phone with his boss, Jell has been busy improving Eagle Mountain's fitness, with the horse completing frequent strong work. 'We have always been on the back foot because of the injury,' Jell said. 'But he put in some solid work [yesterday] morning and ran some decent time. 'In fact, he has probably been working a little bit quicker than he was leading into the race last year.' Last year, however, the horse was coming into the race off a terrific second to Conduit in the Breeders' Cup Turf (2,400m) Group One in the United States. And he was not burdened by any suspensory troubles. 'He hasn't shown any change in his action since the injury,' Jell said. 'It doesn't seem to be affecting him at all, and I don't think he even knows which leg the injury was in now. He certainly hasn't been shirking any of his work.' Jell has travelled all over the world with De Kock's horses and brought Irridescence to Hong Kong when she won the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2,000m) in 2006. 'I have been fortunate enough to be involved with a number of world-class horses and it is hard to compare the different types,' Jell said. 'If they win a Group One anywhere then they are obviously pretty special, and as long as they try their best, then I'm happy.'