J J The Jet Plane ready for take-off

South African sprinter makes British debut with Royal Ascot in his sights

The single most significant factor in the globalisation of racing arrived because a young RAF officer, Frank Whittle, had a good idea back in the late 1920s. His invention, of course, changed world travel and commerce for everyone and everything, but whereas a leisurely journey on a liner in days past could be a pleasurable experience for people, for horses it was a daunting experience, not to be considered lightly. In 1923, for instance, it took the Derby winner Papyrus eight storm-tossed days to cross the Atlantic on the Aquitania for a £20,000 match with the American champion Zev in New York, a contest which, unsurprisingly, he lost.

Nowadays equine athletes circle the world with swift impunity and it is appropriate that the latest international superstar to step out on a British track is named J J The Jet Plane. The speedy South African champion makes his debut on these shores tonight at Windsor, his prep for Royal Ascot later this month.

J J The Jet Plane, named after the cute airborne equivalent of Thomas The Tank Engine, is in the care of international maestro Mike de Kock and has the Golden Jubilee Stakes on the Saturday of the Royal meeting as his target.

Last year in his native country the five-year-old won twice at the top level over tonight's distance of six furlongs and comes to the shores of the Thames via a victory at Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, in February. He is currently lodging in Newmarket, where he showed considerable dash in a piece of work four days ago, ridden by De Kock's assistant Juan Nel.

Ryan Moore is in the saddle this evening, when J J must give weight away to all six rivals. "His preparation has gone very well," Nel said yesterday, "but he's not quite 100 per cent at this stage. The race will bring him on. Giving weight away is always a concern, but then I think he's a better horse than the others. If all goes well, we'll be looking forward to Royal Ascot."

The Golden Jubilee Stakes, the King's Stand Stakes at Ascot four days earlier and the July Cup at Newmarket next month are the European legs of the Global Sprint Challenge, which also takes in races in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.

The series, in its fifth year, has enlivened the division in these parts, with victories for Spain (Equiano), Australia (Miss Andretti and Takeover Target), Hong Kong (Cape Of Good Hope) and contenders from South Africa (National Colour) and New Zealand (Seachange).

And though injury has ruled the Hungarian speedball Overdose out of this year's cosmopolitan Ascot party, the Hong Kong star Sacred Kingdom, regular attendee Takeover Target and his rising star compatriot Scenic Blast, plus Saturday's latest sprint revelation Ialysos are among those who will be there.

Ialysos is now based with Luca Cumani, but had won seven straight races at Markopoulou in his native Greece before scorching home in the Achilles Stakes – of course – on his British debut at Haydock on Saturday.

The home side's defence of the King's Stand Stakes was boosted yesterday by the victory in France of hardy little Tax Free. The gelding, trained by Dandy Nicholls and ridden by his son Adrian, survived a stewards' enquiry after a rough finish to the Prix du Gros-Chene at Chantilly, getting home from the Italian raider Black Mambazo by a neck. It was a fourth victory from his past five runs for Tax Free, still inching up the ladder at the age of seven, and sweet compensation for the demotion of his stablemate Inxile at Longchamp last month.

Kevin Ryan's charge Benbaun came third, but last year's first and second in the Group Three five-furlong contest, Marchand D'Or and Equiano, filled the last two places this time.

The first sprint of the day in front of the Grandes Ecuries came at the end of a 12-furlong race, and resulted in another successful British raid as Scintillo, from Richard Hannon's yard, defied a typically escargot-esque Gallic early pace to take the Group Two Grand Prix de Chantilly. Under a brainy ride from Richard Hughes, the four-year-old prevailed by a head from Chinchon, with about a length covering the first six.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Perfect Friend (5.00 Leicester)

NB: Pride Of Kings (3.00 Leicester)

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own