After a career spanning 20 years in the saddle, dual licence holder Jade Darose has landed her first stakes winner in riding noted wet-tracker Jungle Edge to victory at Caulfield.
Darose has been the regular trackwork partner of the Mick Bell-trained Jungle Edge, but Saturday’s Listed W J Adams Stakes was the first time she had ridden the sprinter in a race.
It turned out perfect timing as rain fell before the first race, downgrading the track from good to the soft range, ideal conditions for Jungle Edge.
Sent off a $21 outsider, Jungle Edge scored by a length from I Am Immortal ($11) with Causeway Girl ($20) a half-head away third.
Darose was delighted to have finally claimed her first stakes victory.
“It’s so exciting, especially for Mick, he’s been so good to me and today was my lucky day,” Darose said.
“I’ve ridden this horse in trackwork for five years. There was no twisting of the arm to put me on, he wanted to put me on today.”
Darose, who became the first dual licence holder to win a race at Flemington when Parwan Prince scored last year, is resigned to the fact she is likely to be replaced on Jungle Edge when he next lines up.
But she said whatever happens now, it doesn’t matter.
“He’s probably the best horse I’ve ridden because I’ve ridden mainly in the bush and those horses don’t measure up here,” she said.
“It is disappointing that I haven’t been on him before.
“You do get your hopes up and you go through a series of different thoughts, but Mick’s good to me and this horse, I just love.”
Bell said Darose got the call up when regular jockey Michael Poy was committed to riding Sisstar for Tony McEvoy.
Jungle Edge’s win was an emotional victory for Bell coming on the anniversary of his wife Bev’s death from breast cancer three years ago.
“The horse means the world to me and it’s very good for Jade, she deserves it,” Bell said.
“I’m so tickled pink. You could go five life-times as a trainer and not get a horse like this, especially for a small trainer like me.”