National hero Silent Witness, unbeaten in seven starts, proved he belongs among the best sprinters in the world as he roared past South African champion National Currency to win the Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I). The 1,000-meter race (five furlongs) was the second of four international races held at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.
With tears in his eyes after the race, owner Arthur "Archie" Antonio da Silva screamed "I love you baby" as Silent Witness crossed the line in :56.5. Silent Witness won by a length over National Currency with Cape of Good Hope finishing three-quarters of a length back in third.
Silent Witness, a 4-year-old gelding by El Moxie (Conquistador Cielo) out of the Bureaucracy mare Jade Tiara, raced twice in Australia in "barrier" races, or trial races, before being purchased by da Silva. An A$55,000 yearling purchase, Silent Witness was purchased privately by David Moore, who promised da Silva the "pick of the litter" from his stock. Da Silva chose well.
Silent Witness was 3-10 in the Sprint. He is trained by Tony Cruz, the leading trainer and former legendary jockey in Hong Kong. The crowd cheered wildly for the winner as he crossed the finish line and again when he was led back for the winning ceremony.
"I was awed," da Silva said. "I felt the whole of Hong Kong was behind us today. There were flags flying my colors. I said to myself 'I've got to do this for Hong Kong.'"
Silent Witness, breaking from post 11 grabbed the early lead from the gate, and battled with fellow speedster National Currency through an opening splits of :13.3 and :34.2. The final 200 meters were run in :22.2. The two battled but Silent Witness spurted away in the last 100 meters. Local jockey Felix Coetzee was aboard.