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Meet Silent Witness at Flemington

16 February 2023 Written by VRC

He was Hong Kong's 'Black Caviar', now he calls Living Legends home. Don’t miss meeting him at Flemington on Black Caviar Lightning Race Day, Saturday 18 February.

Bred at Edinburgh Park Stud in New South Wales, Silent Witness was sold for $55,000 at the William Inglis Classic Yearling Sale to be trained initially by David Hall. Under the name Eltira, the young thoroughbred won a trial at Ballarat before being sold to Hong Kong where his name changed to Silent Witness.

He was to be trained by champion trainer Tony Cruz, with jockey Felix Coetzee in the saddle for all 29 of Silent Witness’s starts. He won his first race comfortably by almost four lengths in a 1000 metre race on the straight track at Sha Tin and finished his first Hong Kong season winning all five starts, culminating in the Group 2 Sha Tin Vase and stamping himself as the next big thing in Hong Kong racing.

Felix Coetzee steers Silent Witness to victory in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint. (Kenneth Chan/South China Morning Post / Getty Images)

Silent Witness quickly became a Hong Kong icon, drawing large crowds and thunderous cheers and cries every time he appeared on track. Incredibly he won his first 17 races in succession, eight Group1 victories. Hong Kong racegoers really get behind their champions and bringing signs and wearing the colours of his owners, the Black and Lime Green of the da Silva family.

In May of 2005, after conquering the sprint scene in Hong Kong for the best part of three years, the champion sprinter stepped up to a mile for the first time. The start prior he won the Group 2 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup, his first try at 1400 metres. In the Group 1 Champion’s Mile, he led for the majority of the race, fending off challenges from The Duke, Super Kid and Ain’t Here at the 200m, only to be grabbed on the line, suffering his first defeat to stablemate and fellow Hong Kong superstar Bullish Luck. After recording his first blemish on his impressive resume, Cruz was undeterred, venturing to Japan to again tackle the mile in the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen, customarily settling on speed, finishing a brave third after leading for most of the straight.

Silent Witness greeting adoring fans at Sha Tin. (Kenneth Chan/South China Morning Post / Getty Images)

Silent Witness was crowned Hong Kong Horse of the Year in 2004 and 2005 and was named in Time magazine’s Top 100 in 2005. For the three years from 2003 to 2005, the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in Paris ranked Silent Witness the world’s highest rated sprinter. He retired amassing HKD$62,496,396 in stakes and left a lasting legacy on the racing fans in Hong Kong and most definitely on the lives and careers of Felix Coetzee and Tony Cruz.


SILENT WITNESS

Bay Gelding

Foaled  01/10/1999 – Edinburgh Park Stud, Manning Valley, New South Wales

Previous Name ELTIRA

Sire  El Moxie (USA)

Dam  Jade Tiara (Bureaucracy (NZ))

Breeder  IK Smith NSW

Trainer  Derek Cruz

Jockey  Felix Coetzee

Owner  Arthur Antonio da Silva

CAREER STATISTICS

Country

Starts

Wins

2nds

3rds

Prizemoney

HK

26

17

3

1

$53,435,596 (HKD)

JPN

3

1

0

1

¥135,912,000 (JPY)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Starts

Wins

2nds

3rds

Total Prizemoney

 

29

18

3

2

$10,416,066 (AUD)

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

Hong Kong

WON Group 1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint 1000m (2004)

WON Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint 1000m (2003)

WON Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize 1200m (2004, 2005)

WON Group 1 Centenary Sprint Cup 1000m (2004, 2005)

WON Group 1 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy 1000m (2004,2005)

Japan

WON Group 1 Sprinters Stakes 1200m (Nakayama) (2005)

 

AWARDS

World's Champion Sprinter (2003, 2004, 2005)

Hong Kong Champion Sprinter (2004, 2005, 2006)

Hong Kong Horse of the Year (2004, 2005)

Hong Kong Most Popular Horse of the Year (2004, 2005)

 

Don’t miss meeting him at Flemington on Black Caviar Lightning Race Day, Saturday 18 February.