Lucinda Doodt has jumped at the chance to travel interstate to ride popular sprinter Jungle Edge in what will be a first for the apprentice when she rides at Randwick.
The Ballarat-based Doodt has never ridden in NSW, let alone Sydney, and is excited about the opportunity to re-unite with the well-performed Mick Bell-trained gelding in Saturday’s Winter Dash (1200m).
“It’s just great that Mick has got faith in me to go to a new track that I haven’t ridden on before,” Doodt said.
“It’s my first time riding that way as well. Ballarat do the two-year-old clockwise trials so that helped me a bit. But it’s exciting to have the opportunity.
“I’m hoping he should be able to jump and lead them up.
“He just keeps clicking up and hopefully he can pinch a break on them and he’s really tough to run down.”
Jungle Edge is a noted wet tracker and notched the 16th win of his career at Sandown last Saturday when he led all the way in an open handicap under Melbourne’s leading apprentice Michael Poy.
With Poy staying in Melbourne to ride at Flemington, it paved the way for Doodt to get the call to get back aboard Jungle Edge who is favourite for Saturday’s race.
The 22-year-old rode Jungle Edge to a second at Caulfield three starts ago, while fellow apprentices Chelsea Hall and Poy have ridden the sprinter in his past two starts.
“Mick called me on Sunday morning and asked if I would be available to ride him,” Doodt said.
“Obviously I rode him a few starts ago at Caulfield and ran second on him so it’s really exciting to get the ride again.
“After I rode him at Caulfield he said that he was going to put Chelsea back on because she does the work and he’s loyal and I really respected that.
“Obviously Michael Poy has won on him before as well, but I did keep my hand up and say ‘if you want to claim three again or need me I’m here’. To get that call was really, really good.
“He’s a last-start winner and he’s obviously got 62-1/2-kilos so my three kilo claim is really going to be beneficial.”
What will also be beneficial is the prospect of another heavy track with all Jungle Edge’s wins on soft or heavy ground.
On Thursday Randwick was a heavy (8) but Doodt hopes the prediction for more rain eventuates.
“It’s really exciting. He just loves it. The wetter the better,” she said.
Jungle Edge’s Randwick performances include a third in the 2017 Group One All Aged Stakes and second to Pierata in last year’s Group Three Sydney Stakes, regarded as the consolation event for horses that miss out on the $14 million Everest on the same program.