JJ The Jet Plane: globe-trotting sprinter won 14 races during his careerPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Speedy JJ The Jet Plane retired due to leg injury
South Africa: The globe-trotting JJ The Jet Plane has been retired following the recurrence of the near-fore suspensory ligament problem that kept him out of racing for nine months last year.
The seven-year-oldwon 14 races including the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint, the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai twice and five South African Grade 1 sprints.
Natalie Houdalakis, wife of trainer Lucky, said on Friday: "It has flared up again and we decided that, before we did any more damage, it was time for him to retire. He was a fantastic horse and he did wonderfully well for us."
JJ The Jet Plane spent much of 2009 in Britain, firstly with Mike de Kock and then with Richard Hannon. He finished third in the July Cup and fourth in the Golden Jubilee but it was felt that he never quite reproduced his best South African form and at the end of the year he was sent back to Houdalakis.
The gelding won the following year's Golden Horse Casino Sprint and the Mercury Sprint before going to Hong Kong for what was perhaps his greatest success. It was in Dubai in April last year that the suspensory problem, basically a hole in the tendon, first developed.
JJ The Jet Plane was an ugly duckling with bad legs as a youngster and made less than £6,000 when sent to the sales. He will spend the rest of his days on a farm in the Natal midlands.