02/02/2007 12:00AM

Silent Witness set for final start


Silent Witness, Hong Kong's most popular horse, will make the final start of his storied career at Sha Tin on Sunday. Victory in the Group 1, $576,000 Centenary Sprint Cup will not come easy, though, as he is faced with a stern challenge from the recent Hong Kong Sprint winner, Absolute Champion.

The winner of his first 17 races in Hong Kong, including eight Group 1's, Silent Witness has suffered eight losses in a row since notching his ninth Group 1 triumph in the Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama, Japan, on Oct. 2, 2005.

Absolute Champion emerged as Hong Kong's leading sprinter on Dec. 11 with a 4 1/4-length thrashing of Silent Witness in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint, setting a six-furlong track record of 1:07.80. If a case can be made for Silent Witness on Sunday, it is that he is at his best on Sha Tin's straight five-furlong course.