April 22, 2024

Silent Witness easily defends Sprint title

Last updated: 12/12/04 4:48 PM












Silent Witness earns 13th straight win
(Courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club)





A hand ride was all it took for SILENT WITNESS (El Moxie) to come out on top
in Sunday’s Hong Kong Sprint (HK-G1) for the second straight year. The defending
champion settled in just behind the leaders in the about five-furlong test, which
was run on the straight-way, before kicking clear nearing the wire to post a 1
3/4-length victory.

“He was very relaxed before the race and he had a flying start,” jockey Felix
Coetzee said. “He was going so well and as they passed the crossover at the 400
meters, I thought ‘you’re going to hit the front too soon,’ then he just picks
up and at the 200 meters he starts pricking his ears!

“It was a very, very easy win. Perhaps one of the easiest I’ve ever had on
him. Against that kind of opposition, it says so much about his quality.”

Silent Witness earned his 13th win from as many starts with this one and will
go after Cigar’s record of 16 straight victories, according to trainer Tony
Cruz.

“We haven’t seen the best of him yet,” Cruz said. “He will stay here (in Hong
Kong) to hopefully clean up the three legs of the Champion Sprint Series and
that will bring us up to Cigar’s winning record of 16 wins in a row.”



Cape of Good Hope (Inchinor [GB]) found himself in a familiar position,
second, as the
winner swept past the finish in :56 4/5 for about five furlongs on the good to
firm Sha Tin turf. He’s been chasing Silent Witness for most of his career and
has yet to break through with a stakes victory despite many placings at the
Group 1 level.

“(Cape of Good Hope)’s run a blinder, in fact that’s the closest he’s got to
Silent Witness,” jockey Mick Kinane said. “It’s just so unlucky for him that he
has to keep coming up against an unbelievable champion but it’s amazing how he
keeps trying. He runs his heart out.”

Cape of Good Hope was 4 1/4 lengths ahead of Natural Blitz (Maroof) at the
wire and rounding out the field was Royal Millennium (Royal Academy), Able
Prince (Hurricane Sky), Multidandy (Danehill), Sunningdale (Warning [GB]),
Battle Won (Honour and Glory), Yell (Anabaa), Var (Forest Wildcat), Osterhase
(Flying Spur), The Tatling (Perugino), Pivotal Point (Pivotal) and Calstone
Light O (Warning [GB]).