Mud lark Jungle Edge will get his preferred wet track when he lines up in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday but the weather will determine if he stays in Sydney for a possible clash with super mare Winx.
If Jungle Edge performs well first up in the Missile Stakes, trainer Mick Bell will consider taking on Winx in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 19 providing he gets another rain affected track.
“If he runs well, we’d look at running him in a couple of weeks against Winx,” Bell told Racing New South News Desk.
“There is another race on that day we could run in (Show County Quality) but if the weather starts to fine up too much he would probably come back home.”
“We’re not frightened to run second to Winx. That’d be great.”
“We have won two Group Threes and been Group One-placed three times but really, he is a second stringer. However, on a really wet track we’re as good as anything.”
Jungle Edge is a winner of eleven of his thirty-nine starts, all on wet tracks, and will get conditions to suit on Saturday with the Randwick track rated a heavy 8 on Friday morning after receiving 13.6mm of rain in the last twenty-four hours and a total of 26.6mm for the last seven days.
The noted wet tracker emerged as a Group 1 contender during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival and after winning the Group 3 $150,000 E-Group Security Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 25 on a heavy 9 then went on to run third to Tivaci in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick three weeks later on a heavy track again.
Jungle Edge arrived in Brisbane for the Winter Carnival and struck another heavy track which paved the way for him to win the Group 3 $125,000 Taxibox BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 20.
Bell then stepped Jungle Edge back up to Group 1 company and after high balling it out in front was run down by Clearly Innocent to finish second in the Group 1 $700,000 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on May 27.
The weather Gods then deserted Bell and after setting the pace again on a good track, fade in the straight to finish fifteenth to Impending in the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 10.
Jungle Edge was then sent for a break before beginning his Spring Carnival campaign.
“After the Stradbroke I sent Jungle Edge to Aquis Farm in Queensland. Even though he was having a spell he was on the water walker and swimming. It was like a working holiday. We just kept him ticking over,” Bell said.
“I would have preferred to have given him a trial before I ran him but this horse is so weather dependant.
“He doesn’t have to have a heavy track but he certainly needs softer tracks.”
Jungle Edge has drawn barrier four in the nine horse Missile Stakes field with regular rider Kevin Forrester in the saddle again.
Early betting for the Missile Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Jungle Edge on the third line at $6.50 behind the $2.20 favourite Le Romain and the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Tycoon Tara at $4.80.
Multiple Group 1 winner Le Romain is having his first start since finishing a close second to Tivaci in the All Aged Stakes while Tycoon Tara has had a short freshen up since winning the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) at Doomben on June 24.