It would be foolhardy to look beyond Silent Witness as he attempts to stamp his mark as the world's premier runner over 1,200m Hong Kong's Silent Witness is the horse to beat in the Sprinters' Stakes today at Nakayama, despite a wide draw and should use the occasion to reaffirm his standing as world champion. And ever-reliable Cape Of Good Hope promises to provide Hong Kong with an international Group One quinella to celebrate National Day. Silent Witness's credentials are impeccable for the Sprinters' Stakes with 17 sprint wins from 17 sprint starts, and if he had not started in two 1,600m races late last season at Sha Tin and at the Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo, he would be regarded today as almost unbeatable. But with the unbeaten tag gone and the gloss off Tony Cruz's champion, now is a vital stage of the gelding's great career. Prepared with the Sprinters' Stakes in mind, Silent Witness is well ahead of where he would normally be in fitness at this stage of the season and Cruz and jockey Felix Coetzee believe he is at the top of his form. The Nakayama track could have been built for Silent Witness, with a long, gradual downhill turn from the start to the 600m and a straight of similar length to Happy Valley, but with an uphill run from the 200m to the 100m. While trainer David Oughton is hoping that the travelling and a rising straight can help Cape Of Good Hope (Brett Prebble) narrow the gap on the champion at their 11th meeting, the Cape Crusader does look the horse to beat for second. Prebble's toughest job might be to find his way clear in the final charge, with Cape Of Good Hope drawn to race inside or behind some second-level local chances with a similar race style in She Is Tosho, Precious Cafe and Keeneland Swan. Among the locals, backmarker Durandal is best fancied after winning this race from last two years ago and cutting Cape Of Good Hope out of second behind Calstone Light O last year on wet ground. In 2004, Durandal missed almost all the year's racing prior to the Sprinters' with foot problems and this time around he has not been seen since the Hong Kong Mile for the same reason. A three-time Group One winner, with a fabulous 1,200m record, he should get the pace he needs up front but will give away a massive start. The 2004 winner Calstone Light O then finished last at Sha Tin and has had a patchy time since, racing three times at home for a lone second placing. He was easily beaten when fourth to Admire Max in Japan's other Group One sprint, the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1,200m) in March after leading and fourth at odds-on over a straight 1,000m at Niigata in August. Precious Cafe remains the big local query. Winner of eight of 14, Precious Cafe looked a super star winning his first seven attempts at 1,200m and has had some excuses as hot favourite in his last two 1,200m races from wide gates in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen in March and behind She Is Tosho in July at Hakodate. She Is Tosho has won her past two, but won her first black type race with that Group Three at Hakodate at her 25th start and she and Centaur Stakes winner, Golden Cast, have each to show they are up to top grade.