Tony Cruz has never been one to take it easy. 'You have to have drive,' says Hong Kong's most successful jockey and champion thoroughbred horse trainer. 'If you don't have a goal in your life, your time is up.' The son of an amateur jockey, Cruz began riding at the age of three and by 14 was an apprentice at the-then Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club. A two-time champion apprentice, he graduated early and went on to become a six-time Hong Kong champion jockey. Cruz, 54, who was managed by his father for the first 10 years, says: 'I couldn't make mistakes like other apprentices did. He was with me all the time. He was my father, my driver, my agent, my instructor, my landlord and my accountant.' Some of Cruz's most memorable wins were in the early 1980s on a horse named Co-Tack, on which he had 10 straight victories and took home the Hong Kong Derby, Chater Cup and Gold Cup. 'He was a horse that could win on any track,' he recalls. 'I think I even won on him on one or two occasions at 154 pounds. No horse can do that.' Cruz also competed across Europe, riding to victory for such prestigious owners as the Aga Khan, Sheikh Mohammed and Queen Elizabeth II. After 23 years of racing, he made the transition to trainer and has enjoyed continued success with Hong Kong Horses of the Year Silent Witness and Bullish Luck, among many others. 'All my life has been horses. And all my life has been early to sleep, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy and wise,' he says. Starting as early as 2.45am, Cruz and his fellow trainers at Sha Tin racecourse work the horses in the dark when they are at their calmest. For Cruz, the early starts and demands of his chosen profession are worth the result. 'There are a lot of sacrifices being a jockey because you can't stay out late, you can't eat,' he says. 'But when you win, it's the glory of satisfaction. The effort you put into it is so satisfying.' While Cruz admits being a trainer doesn't bring the same glory, it does give him more freedom and time for things such as his second love, golf, the occasional happy hour drink and 'enjoying my food'. But the father of two is not ready to retire. 'Right now, my goal is to win big races all over the world,' he says, adding that he plans to continue training internationally, even after the Jockey Club's retirement age of 65. 'People ask me if I'm going to go to England to retire,' he says. 'You mean go there and die? No, I have to be where the action is.' Cartier Tonneau 'I wear this watch quite a lot because it has the two time zones. I like to see the time in Hong Kong and where I'm travelling.' Tortue 'This watch is in memory of Silent Witness when he retired [in 2007]. The owner gave it to me, so it has a lot of meaning.'