03/26/2011 10:01AM

J J the Jet Plane gets up despite trouble in Al Quoz Sprint

Andrew Watkins
J J the Jet Plane (far right) wins a photo in the Al Quoz Sprint.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - J J the Jet Plane confirmed his position as one of the world’s best turf sprinters with a brave victory in the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint, the first Thoroughbred race on Dubai World Cup night. He beat War Artist by a head, with Monsieur Joe another head back in third, and Invincible Ash fourth. The two Americans in the race, Stradivinsky and Mr. Gruff, failed to make an impact.

J J the Jet Plane’s personable trainer, Michael “Lucky” Houdalakis, was concerned that the Al Quoz, contested over about five furlongs, was shorter than his horse preferred. Matters got no better when J J the Jet Plane found trouble during the middle of the race, which was run in poor visibility due to a sand storm.

“The first time I saw him he was turned sideways,” Houdalakis said.

But jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe managed to hold decent position, and in the final furlong J J the Jet Plane found his best stride.

“I could see the last 70 meters he would get up,” said Houdalakis, a South African who trains J J the Jet Plane for South African connections.

J J the Jet Plane, a son of Jet Master, now has won 14 of 26 starts and more than $2.3 million. His time over good-to-firm turf was 59.14 seconds.

In United States betting pools, J J the Jet Plane paid $4.20 to win.