For all his undoubted talent, J J The Jet Plane (SAF) was considered slightly suspect over the minimum trip, but the exciting son of Jet Master rallied to land a brilliant victory in the Gr 1 Tedelex Computaform Sprint at Turffontein today, touching off the luckless Flintlock (SAF) with Seventh Rock (AUS) staying on for third and Lightning Lecture (SAF) running a creditable fourth.
As expected, there was a bit of a cavalry charge from the start with Flintlock, J J The Jet Plane, Seventh Rock and Rosinante all prominent. Conspicuous by his absence was Mythical Flight, who had been slowly out of the pens and was always a couple of lengths off the pace.
The race began in earnest as they galloped past halfway with J J The Jet Plane, Flintlock and Seventh Rock all going great runs. Mythical Flight was soon under pressure and any hopes that he might pick off the front runners soon faded as he fell away.
Seventh Rock was the first to weaken of the front three as the line approached and it looked as if Flintlock might have timed his charge to perfection. J J The Jet Plane, however, summoned up the extra to stick out his neck when it mattered and land a famous victory for trainer Lucky Houdalakis.
The soft going probably made this a bit more testing than a conventional 1000m, but J J The Jet Plane seems the type of horse who always has an extra gear in reserve and this was a scintillating performance. Having shown his credentials under weight for age conditions, he would be the one they have to beat in the big sprints in KwaZulu Natal.
Flintlock must go down as one of the unluckiest horses around as he always seems to find one too good for him. However, as he has been beaten by the three top sprinters around, he can return home with his head held high, having done his connections proud.
Seventh Rock did nothing wrong in third place and having been up with the pace throughout, seemed to tire slightly in the going.
Lightning Lecture was expected to be run off his hooves but he found a good finish and this was a respectable performance.
The race was inevitably overshadowed by the failure of Mythical Flight but it was clear from the start of the race that this was not going to be his day. Hopefully he will bounce back, but his aura is now gone. Whatever happens from here on, however, he deserves to be remembered for the exciting dimension he has added to South African racing while at his peak.
J J The Jet Plane is a 3-year-old gelding by Jet Master (SAF) out of Majestic Guest (SAF) by Northern Guest (USA). Bred by Mrs P J Devine, he is owned by Messrs H S N Du Preez, C F Strydom, L Houdalakis and Mrs C D Boyens