Jungle’s wet track edge back at Valley
Mick Bell prides himself on getting more things right than wrong with stable star Jungle Edge but he puts his hand up that he got his last start wrong at Caulfield.
On that occasion, Jungle Edge showed his usual speed but was beaten a long way out and finished seventh in the Bletchingly Stakes won by Viridine.
“If I had my time over again I wouldn’t have run him because the track was much firmer than I thought it would be,” Bell said.
“I think I get things right more often than not with him, but not that time.”
Bell said he got it right when he scratched Jungle Edge from Caulfield last Saturday and he is more than happy that he’s in action at Moonee Valley this weekend in the Carlyon Stakes (1000m).
He said Jungle Edge will be suited by the soft track and the predicted rain.
“I think he’ll run really well. I’m not saying he’s going to win but it’s going to take a good horse to beat him,” he said.
Bell said the four weeks between runs also suits the veteran gelding.
“He went really well in a jump out the previous Monday at Cranbourne, although Bons Away, who is in the same race, went pretty well also in the same jump out,” Bell said.
Jungle Edge has had seven starts at Moonee Valley with two seconds his best results, but Bell believes he should have won both of those races.
He said the first one in the winter of 2016 was the race which turned his career around when he ran second to Pretty Possum.
“He missed the start as he jumped in the air and gave away too much start. Dylan Dunn came back and said he needed to have his tail lifted at the start of a race and from then on he’s been one of the fastest horses in racing,” Bell said.
He also finished second to O’Malley that year over 955m and Bell said he was unlucky.
Since then he has encountered firm tracks when he’s raced at the Valley.
“It’s hard to get a wet track at the Valley as it drains so well but hopefully it will be this time,” Bell said.
Bell is still hoping to get Jungle Edge to Sydney to race and will transfer him to trainer Bob Pearse if he can get him there.
“He’ll go if he’s allowed to as they’ve still got a lot of wet weather to come,” Bell said.
“Even though he’s 10, he’s going as well as ever. If he shows signs of dropping his form I’ll retire him. Obviously he’s closer to the end than the start.”
Jungle Edge will be having his 84th start on Saturday and has won 19 races and almost $1.8 million in stake money.