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BRICS AND THE HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL RACES

Douglas Whyte, Julie Alexander, Mick Goss, Mrs Whyte and Derreck David
Douglas Whyte, Julie Alexander, Mick Goss, Mrs Whyte and Derreck David

Dougie Whyte, Julie Alexander, Mick Goss, Dougie’s Mum and Derreck David

Summerhill Box, Greyville, Vodacom Durban July 2011

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

CATHAY PACIFIC

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL RACES

Sha Tin Racecourse, Hong Kong

11 December 2011

Just under a year ago, South Africa was admitted to the prestigious conglomerate of nations known as Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and the 2011 staging of their international meeting by the local Jockey Club in the Chinese enclave of Hong Kong, is the first since our admission.

It is, of course, the season for international events, and especially jockey’s internationals, and these always invoke a measure of parochial interest. South African jockeys have dominated the Hong Kong championship (one of the most sought after titles in racing) for 18 of the last 19 years. The most successful of these is a man who might legitimately lay claim to the title of Best Jockey in the World”. He is the Durban-bred and raised Dougie Whyte, who just happens also to be the most successful rider in the history of the jockey’s challenge. Local fans will remember it was Dougie who piloted London News to his epic victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Gr1), heralding the return to the international fold of South African horses, and that it was he, aboard the Summerhill-bred Pierre Jourdan, who ran Igugu to three quarters of a length in this year’s Vodacom Durban July. You can bet your bottom dollar Dougie will be at the action end of things come Sunday’s Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races.

Rocket Man’s South African connection

Summerhill clients, Ronnie and Bev Napier, Jean Marc and Clothilde Ulcoq, are all in Hong Kong for this annual jamboree, as they have been for some years as guests of the Hong Kong Jockey Club following the initiation of their attendance in the days when Major General Guy Watkins was still the CEO. It is a sign of their loyalty and affection for racing in that jurisdiction, that they haven’t missed a meeting in close to twenty years, and you’d have to forgive them a measure of patriotic sentiment when it comes to the chances of the South African-connected Rocket Man in the Hong Kong Sprint (Gr1).

A victim of an irrepressible late surge from the South African-bred, JJ The Jet Plane (by Jet Master) in last year’s renewal, Rocket Man’s owned by local doyen, Fred Crabbia, trained by Pat Shaw and his regular rider is Felix Coetzee. He’s reported to have worked up a storm on Tuesday morning on the Sha Tin all-weather track.

“He’d have done more if we’d let him, but he’ll do a piece of work on the grass tomorrow over about 800 metres”, Trainer Shaw explained.

The six-year-old brings top credentials into the 1200 metre event, having won the Gr1 Dubai Golden Shaheen over the Meydan Tapeta in March and the Gr1 Krisflyer International Sprint on the turf at Kranji racecourse in May.

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JET PLANES ARE FASTER THAN ROCKETS!!

j j the jet plane winning the hong kong sprint
j j the jet plane winning the hong kong sprint

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint

(Photo : Hong Kong Jockey Club)

J J THE JET PLANE RANKED

“WORLD TOP MALE SPRINTER”

Timeform has rated J J THE JET PLANE as the top male sprinter in the world (TFR 122), an unbelievable achievement for this homegrown hero who has flown to stardom from humble beginnings. He shares the honour with the two illustrious gallopers who ran behind him in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint (Gr1), Rocket Man and Sacred Kingdom. Coolmore’s Starspangledbanner is rated behind the trio (TFR 121) followed by Equiano.

TIMEFORM TOP MALE SPRINTER

#

Horse

Trainer

TFR

1

J J THE JET PLANE

Lucky Houdalakis

122

1

ROCKET MAN

Patrick Shaw

122

1

SACRED KINGDOM

Ricky Yiu

122

4

STARSPANGLEDBANNER

Aidan O’Brien

121

5

EQUIANO

Barry Hills

120

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JJ JET'S HOME

j j the jet plane wins hong kong sprint
j j the jet plane wins hong kong sprint
j j the jet plane winning hong kong sprint trophy presentation
j j the jet plane winning hong kong sprint trophy presentation

J J The Jet Plane - Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint (Gr1)

(Photos : Hong Kong Jockey Club)

J J THE JET PLANE

CATHAY PACIFIC HONG KONG SPRINT (Gr1)

It was good to be South African on Sunday, particularly if you’re into racehorses. Twice a champion back home, J J The Jet Planetook the form of his most recent domestic Gr1victories in the Golden Horse Casino Sprintand the Mercury Sprint to Hong Kong for the HK$14million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint Gr1yesterday, where his adversaries included numerous international Gr1 winners, as well as the Hong Kong and Singapore champions, Sacred KingdomandRocket Man. Displaying the characteristic guts of Jet Master’sprogeny, “JJ” lived up to his name as he took off and swamped the appropriately named Rocket Man in literally the last stride of a desperate contest, becoming the second South African-bred Gr1 winner in a week, following Gypsey’s Warning’ssurge in America’s Milady Handicap. Just ¾ of a length separated the three champions, and this victory catapults “JJ”right into the reckoning for the title of the world’s best sprinter. A great piece of training by an underestimated force, Lucky Houdalakis, and a fairytale for a grand team of owners, who paid only R70,000 for JJas a yearling.

Our hero’s pedigree is littered with Summerhill connections, but before you jump to any hasty conclusions, let me explain. His sire Jet Master is one of, if not the greatest stallion we’ve known, dominating the local championship at a time of formidable opposition. Both his grandmother and his great grandmother were bred and raised at Summerhill, while “JJ’s” mother, bred at Summerhill by the late Gordon Ball, is a Stakes-winning daughter of our own champion, Northern Guest. Both his next two dams were bred at the old Hartford, now part of Summerhill.

Spare a thought here for Jet Master’sbreeder Hugh Jonsson, whose little stud, which never comprised more than two or three mares at a time, produced Jet Master and sold him for a meagre R15,000 as a weanling. Hugh, whose family were one-time owners of Hartford, parted the next year with his mother at the old broodmare sale on Summerhill for a paltry R10,000, the beneficiary of this transaction being another “poor” man, Chris Saunders, chairman at the time of Tongaat Huletts! It’s these stories that keep us interested, as it’s the best proof, if ever it was needed, that there’s room for everyone in this game.

Fortunately, the family is in great hands, as Chris’ magnificent Invermooi Studhas an enviable history of association with fine thoroughbreds.

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J J THE JET PLANE PINCHES THRILLING HONG KONG SPRINT

j j the jet plane win cathay pacific hong kong sprint
j j the jet plane win cathay pacific hong kong sprint

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.

FINAL RESULT

#

Draw

Horse

Time

Jockey

Trainer

1

8

J J THE JET PLANE

1.08.84

Piere Strydom

Lucky Houdalakis

2

6

ROCKET MAN

1.08.84

Felix Coetzee

Patrick Shaw

3

2

SACRED KINGDOM

1.08.96

Brett Prebble

Ricky Yiu

4

11

LET ME FIGHT

1.09.08

Darren Beadman

John Moore

5

5

ORTENSIA

1.09.13

Craig Williams

Tony Noonan

6

1

KINGSGATE NATIVE

1.09.18

Ryan Moore

Sir Michael Stoute

7

12

LUCKY NINE

1.09.22

Gerald Mosse

Casper Fownes

8

3

LITTLE BRIDGE

1.09.36

Zac Purton

Danny Shum

9

9

DIM SUM

1.09.36

Olivier Doleuze

John Moore

10

7

GREEN BIRDIE

1.09.38

Douglas Whyte

Casper Fownes

11

13

JOY AND FUN

1.09.61

Tye Angland

Derek Cruz

12

10

CERISE CHERRY

1.09.71

Frankie Dettori

Derek Cruz

13

14

ONE WORLD

1.09.91

Jeff Lloyd

John Moore

14

4

ULTRA FANTASY

1.10.16

Hoi Wing Lai

Ricky Yiu

Extract from Racing Post

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