Wherever it rains, Jungle Edge goes and trainer Mick Bell is hoping the wet stuff sticks around in Sydney as he has plans to campaign the mudlark in the Harbour City for the foreseeable future.
The popular sprinter, whose 17 career wins have all been on wet tracks, will strike favourable conditions in the Group 3 $160,000 Cellarbrations Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Bell said the nine-year-old came through his Caulfield win two weeks ago in great shape and is looking forward to working his way through the Sydney autumn.
“I’ve been to Sydney many times because you get proper wet tracks, the tracks in Victoria in the metropolitan area apart from Sandown they dry out very quickly,’’ Bell said.
“He’s won five races at Sandown because it gets heavy there. He’s a good horse on a good track but at the level he races at now you need the advantage of at least soft.
“His next three or four runs, as long as he is going well, will all be in Sydney.
“From March 7 there’s a race every Saturday and it’s just depends whether we go to the higher level or the level under.’’
Bell has the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 7 pencilled in as Jungle Edge’s next run but will be guided by the strength of the race.
The Group 3 Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m) a week later, the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) and Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m), a race he won on a heavy track in 2017, are all on the radar.
Jungle Edge struck paydirt at Caulfield winning the Listed WJ Adams Stakes (1000m) off a two month break when rain throughout the day saw several track downgrades.
“He trialled very well but he was a bit underdone when he had the run back in late November and a mucked up preparation,’’ Bell said.
“After that I had to wait until it rained somewhere. It all worked out perfectly and coming up to Sydney it looks like it’s working out too.
“He’s very consistent, he runs just as fast on a wet track as he does on a dry track but in the wet he gets their wheels spinning. I think he will be in the race right up to his ears.’’
The gelding has had successful associations with a number of jockeys, like Kevin Forrester, Georgina Cartwright and Michael Poy, but his latest rider Jade Darose has probably had the closest partnership with Jungle Edge.
Darose, a dual license holder, had her first race ride on the horse when winning at Caulfield and Bell said she’s been an integral part of the team as his regular trackwork rider.
– Racing NSW