Trainer Mick Bell has paid tribute to his stable star Jungle Edge after proudly watching the popular sprinter add another city win at Sandown on his preferred rain-affected going.
The eight-year-old gelding, ridden by apprentice Michael Poy, showed rivals a clean pair of heels in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Handicap (1200m) on a soft track and he held on at the finish to beat Malibu Style by a long neck.
William Thomas was three-quarters of a length away third.
The victory was Jungle Edge’s 16th from 69 starts and he has amassed almost $1.37 million prize money.
“He is just such a terrific horse,” Bell said.
“It’s a dream come true to have a horse like him.
“I nearly cry every time I look at him.
“He’s been there in the hard times.
“He won a couple of races here at Sandown when my wife was still alive and really got us through some hard times.
“He’s really just a marvel. If I build another house I’m going to build a room for him.”
Bell lost his wife, Bev, to breast cancer in 2017.
A multiple stakes winner and multiple Group One placegetter, Jungle Edge’s victory on Saturday was his first since winning a sprint race on the Ballarat Cup program in November last year.
Poy reunited with Jungle Edge on Saturday for the first time since that Ballarat race.
“My first ever city winner was on him on Ballarat Cup day and I’ve been chasing to get back on him,” Poy said.
“Since I lost my three kilo claim it’s been hard to get back on him because he carries such high weights but Mick Bell backed me today.
“I went and worked him on Monday and he worked good enough to be really competitive today.
“He’s a tough, honest horse.
“He’ll keep winning races. He loves this time of year and he was the class horse in the race.”