Cranbourne trainer Mick Bell is still hoping that some rain arrives at Doomben before Saturday to give his mudlark Jungle Edge a chance to race on his favourite surface in the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m).
The Doomben track was rated a Good 4 on Wednesday morning and although sunny skies have been forecast for the remainder of the week, the Bureau Of Meteorology has forecast a 70% chance of rain on Saturday.
“There’s a chance we might even get some rain for Saturday (but) I’ll be happy going in so long as there is a little bit of cushion,” Bell told Sky Sports radio.
Jungle Edge is the winner of eleven races on rain affected tracks and includes a win two starts back on a heavy 8 track in the Group 3 $125,000 Taxibox BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 20.
The six year old then went to Eagle Farm and handled the shifty sand surface for a second to Stradbroke Handicap favourite Clearly Innocent in the Group 1 $700,000 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) on May 27.
Following heavy criticism of the Eagle Farm track, Racing Queensland transferred the Stradbroke Handicap meeting to Doomben following the substandard state of the track but Bell was not happy with the decision.
“It’s bad luck for us they have shifted to Doomben,” Bell said.
“There’s nothing I can do about it. What’s done is done but I really felt strongly about it.”
“The horse has won (at Doomben) and there’s no reason why he can’t run a good race.”
Jungle Edge, with Kevin Forrester in the saddle again, has drawn nicely at barrier seven in the original draw of sixteen plus five emergencies and will move in three places if all the reserves fail to gain a start.
The six year old gelding in well in commission at $9 for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au and his price will shorten considerably if some rain does arrive prior to start time.
Clearly Innocent heads the market order at $4.80 ahead of the Chris Waller pair of Counterattack and Mackintosh at 7.50 and the Darren Weir trained Ulmann at $8.50.