Heavily-favored J J the Jet Plane got up in the final strides to win the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Emirates NBD (UAE-IIT) at Meydan Racecourse March 26. The five-furlong turf contest kicked off the start of the rich Dubai World Cup card.
Breaking alertly under jockey Bernard Fayd’herbe, the South African-bred son of Jet Master sat just off the swift pace that was set by Inxile. With just over two furlongs to run, J J the Jet Plane was full of run with no place to go, as he was blocked and bumped several times in heavy traffic.
With less than a furlong to run, War Artist took a slight lead and appeared to be on his way to victory. J J the Jet Plane, finally in the clear, rallied furiously down the center of the course, and just got up in the shadow of the wire to nip War Artist by a short head in a blanket finish.
Better Be The One got up for third, another head back, with Invincible Ash another short head back in fourth. The final time for the five furlongs was a swift :59.14 over the good turf course. It was a disappointing day for the U.S. competitors in the field, with Quick Enough doing the best of the runners in eighth. Stradivinsky was 13th, with Mr. Gruff trailing home in last.
“We didn’t come here initially to win this race, we wanted the group I at 1200 meters," said winning trainer Michael "Lucky" Houdalakis, a South African. "But a few things went horribly wrong with him earlier this year. But we got him back on track at his last start and although a 1000 meters is short of his best, he has brilliant, natural pace and it was going to take something really good to get away from him.”
J J the Jet Plane was bred in South Africa by Mrs. P.J. Devine. The 7-year-old gelding is out of the Northern Guest mare, Majestic Guest, and is owned by H.S.N. Dupreez, C.F. Strydom, et al.