JJ THE JET PLANE is the second highest-ranked turf sprinter in the world after Australia’s Black Caviar. The South African star is rated one point below Peter Moody’s astonishingly good four-year-old filly.
Caulfield-based Black Caviar is unbeaten in eight career starts has form at the highest level having beaten Star Witness by an impressive four lengths in the Gr 1 Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington in November last year.
JJ The Jet Plane.
That victory earned her a Timeform rating of 128, the highest recorded in the past 20 renewals of the race.
This year she is taking aim at the Lightning Stakes over 1 000m on February 19. She has an international rating of 123, according to the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities’ World Thoroughbred Rankings for 2010.
JJ The Jet Plane is currently in Dubai with trainer Lucky Houdalakis’ father-in-law Trevor Lange.
He is due to make his Tapeta debut on February 17 in a 1 200m Conditions race and his fans will be hoping he makes a smooth transition to Meydan’s all-weather surface, which he will be trying for the first time.
Houdalakis said JJ The Jet Plane had worked on the all-weather: “He’s flying on the Tapeta. It’s a very light track and he’s enjoying it very much.
“They’ll have to pick up their feet to go with him,’’ predicted the trainer, who was due to fly to Dubai on Tuesday to put the finishing touches on his charge.
Jockey Piere Strydom, who has forged a great relationship with the gelding with a record of seven rides, seven wins, will join the team tomorrow to partner the speedster again.
Houdalakis said JJ The Jet Plane’s performance next Thursday at Meydan would determine whether he champion will be aimed at the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (1 200m) on the all-weather or the R1-million Al Quoz Sprint (1 000m, turf) on Dubai World Cup night.
Houdalakis, who brings the out the best in JJ The Jet Plane, is immensely grateful that the son of Jet Master is still in his care because “he was sold after he won that first Golden Horse Casino Sprint (in 2008), but the owners changed their minds.”
They took the Mercury Sprint that year before JJ The Jet Plane was sent to Dubai with Mike de Kock in 2009.
He won two races at Nad Al Sheba before going to England where he won a Group 3 sprint.
A decision was then taken to bring him back to South Africa and Houdalakis, who nursed him back to his brilliant best to take the Golden Horse Casino Sprint and Mercury Sprint before winning the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint in December.
Patrick Shaw-trained Rocket Man (121), who finished a head second to JJ The Jet Plane in Hong Kong, is the third-highest turf sprinter in the world. – goldcircle.co.za