Globetrotting sprinter J J The Jet Plane won the highest rated short-course event of the year in the Hong Kong Sprint on Sunday. The South African star defeated Rocket Man in a head-bobbing finish with local hero Sacred Kingdom close up in third place.
Australian mare Ortensia (Testa Rossa) was far from disgraced in finishing fifth.
“We had a great run,” said winning jockey Piere Strydom said. “We were always travelling well and I was happy to go after Rocket Man early as I didn’t want him to get away. My bloke gave me everything and we got there right on the line.”
J J The Jet Plane (6g Jet Master – Majestic Guest by Northern Guest) was a G1 winner of the Computaform Sprint, Golden Horse Stakes and Mercury Sprint in his first spell with trainer Lucky Houdalakis before connections sent him to Mike de Kock for a northern hemisphere campaign.
He won the G3 Al Quoz Sprint at Nad al Sheba in February 2009 before travelling to England where he was a first-up Listed winner at Windsor. He stepped up to G1 company and was good enough to weigh in after the Golden Jubilee at Ascot and July Cup at Newmarket.
The owners transferred J J The Jet Plane to Richard Hannon after a disagreement with De Kock but the gelding failed in four quick fire starts in September last year.
Back under the care of Houdalakis this year, J J The Jet Plane earned a start in the Hong Kong feature after G1 victories in the Golden Horse Sprint at Scottsville and a second Mercury Sprint at Clairwood.
J J The Jet Plane is by champion stallion Jet Master (Rakeen) who stands at Klipdrif Stud in the Western Cape. He is also the sire of South African legend Pocket Power and brilliant sprinter Mythical Flight. The latter holds the South African record for 1000m at 54.96s.