Trainer Mick Bell reckons he dodged a bullet with the first-up flop of Jungle Edge in Sydney.
The much-travelled sprinter is back at Bell’s Cranbourne base preparing for Saturday’s Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley.
Crowned Cranbourne’s Horse of the Year for his deeds in Sydney and Brisbane during the autumn and winter carnivals, Jungle Edge finished in the Group Two Missile Stakes at Randwick on August 5.
Bell said in hindsight Jungle Edge wasn’t fit enough for the 1200 metres after being freshened up on the water walker in Queensland as Bell travelled overseas.
“I would have liked to have given him a trial or a race as he was only ready to run 1000 metres,” Bell said.
“The track had dried out, the other horse (Memes) took him on but he ran a really strong 950 metres.
“If the race had have been 1000 metres he would have run a place, but he just blew out.”
Post-race Bell panicked believing Jungle Edge’s campaign was over, so he packed up and headed home.
Bell says it is good luck rather than good management that Jungle Edge is continuing his campaign.
“I ran a blood on him when we got home and it’s the best blood he’s ever had and I’ve been able to get a couple more gallops into him,” Bell said.
“He’s dropping back to 1000 metres and I expect a bold showing.
“The horse is 20/1 but I rate him a six or seven to one chance.
“When you’re a small trainer like me with a horse like Jungle Edge they’ll write you off with half a bad run, let alone a failure.
“If I wasn’t 100 per cent happy he’d be in the paddock.”