12/13/2004 1:00AM

Silent Witness runs up No. 13


Silent Witness justified his odds of 1-5, winning the Cathay Pacific Sprint for the second successive year on Sunday at Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong. A Tony Cruz-trained speedball, Silent Witness won his 13th consecutive start.

Silent Witness won the five-furlong dash by 1 3/4 lengths over Cape of Good Hope, and, barring injury, he appears set to go after Cigar's all-time record winning streak of 16.

Silent Witness's U.S. challenger, Battle Won, failed to match fellow American Morluc's previous good efforts in the Cathay Pacific Sprint, finishing a never-dangerous eighth of the 14 runners.

In the richest race of the day, the Hong Kong Cup, worth $1,308,000 to the winner, the Irish-trained filly Alexander Goldrun defeated Bullish Luck by a head, with Touch of Land another three-quarters of a length behind in third.

Alexander Goldrun produced a blistering burst of speed under Kevin Manning to collar the leaders well inside the final furlong. It was a fine performance from the 3-year-old filly against her elders in the 1 1/4-mile Cup.

Alexander Goldrun will continue to race at 4 next year under her trainer, Jim Bolger.

Meanwhile, the connections of Silent Witness, a son of the obscure Australian-based stallion El Moxie, plan to race him in Hong Kong as he tries to surpass Cigar's landmark. If he breaks the record, then he will travel elsewhere to run.

Owner Arthur da Silva was unwilling to discuss potential destinations, but bearing in mind that he rejected England's Royal Ascot this year because the purses were considered too small, a big-money race in the United States, such as the Breeders' Cup Sprint, might well end up on Silent Witness's 2005 itinerary.

In other Group 1 races on the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup card, Firebreak benefited from a fine tactical ride by Frankie Dettori to win the Mile for Godolphin, and last year's Canadian International winner, Phoenix Reach, won the 1 1/2-mile Vase for English trainer Andrew Balding.