Click above to watch J J The Jet Plane winning the Hong Kong Sprint…
(Photo : Form Guide - Footage : Hong Kong Jockey Club)
CATHAY PACIFIC HONG KONG SPRINT (Gr1)
Sha Tin, Turf, 1200m
12 December 2010
The aptly named JJ THE JET PLANE pinched a thrilling victory in Sunday’s Group 1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin racecourse, and the manner in which the South African speedster prevailed had the vast crowd applauding on their feet.
South African jockey, Piere Strydom, brought the six-year-old Jet Master gelding, a 17-1 chance, fast and late down the outside to thwart Singaporean superstar Rocket Man, piloted by fellow South African jockey Felix Coetzee, by a short head, always looking likely to get there once he’d begun his final descent but prevailing only narrowly when the camera clicked.
The first two home ably defused Sacred ‘Hong Kong Bomb’ Kingdom, whose fan club were scenting victory as he drove forward halfway down the straight. However, his run petered out in the closing stages and he was ultimately denied his third victory in the race.
Sole British challenger Kingsgate Native, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, never showed towards the front end but kept on valiantly in a race run at lightning speed - the clock stopped in 1m 08.84s, just over a second outside the track record - to fill sixth place.
Local sprinter Let Me Fight took fourth place and Australian mare Ortensia filled fifth spot.
J J The Jet Plane, of whom British racegoers never saw the best in a lacklustre campaign last year, has returned to his very best back in South Africa under the handling of trainer Lucky Houdalakis.
This victory marked the first time in eight years that a horse trained outside of Hong Kong had prevailed in the in the Hong Kong Sprint.
The irony will not be lost on Rocket Man’s trainer Patrick Shaw, also a South African, but he was looking forward rather than wondering what might have been.
Shaw had stated all week that J J The Jet Plane was the horse he feared most and now Dubai beckons for his sprinter, Rocket Man, narrowly beaten for the fourth time in an international Group 1.
J J THE JET PLANE
LET ME FIGHT
Sir Michael Stoute
JOY AND FUN
Hoi Wing Lai
Extract from Racing Post