12/05/2005 1:00AM

Prado meets worldly cast


Edgar Prado squares off against some of the world's leading riders at Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong Wednesday night in the annual Cathay Pacific International Jockeys Championship.

Prado, who finished 10th behind Yasunari Iwata in the World Super Jockeys Series this past weekend at Hanshin in Japan, will be up against Kieren Fallon, Michael Kinane, Olivier Peslier, Christophe Soumillon, and Yutaka Take, among others, in the three-race contest.

* Silent Witness was officially withdrawn from Sunday's Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin on Monday. After Silent Witness, the two-time defending Sprint champ, worked lackadaisically, trainer Tony Cruz declined to have the horse undergo a veterinarian examination that would have been required to get him into the race.

* Mazin Al Kurdi, the leading trainer in the United Arab Emirates the last two years, has been handed a four-month suspension by the Emirates Racing Association after four of his seven winners this season tested positive for the banned steroid boldenone. Kurdi, who has 120 horses in training, has appealed the decision, which would effectively sideline him for the remainder of the UAE season.