Jungle Edge is ready to embark on his latest excursion to Sydney, with Victorian trainer Mick Bell hoping the durable gelding can capitalise on a soft track.
With Randwick already in the soft range and more rain forecast for Wednesday and race day, the climate and a drop in class should work out favourably when the seven-year-old runs in the Saturday’s Listed June Stakes (1100m).
The Cranbourne-based sprinter was given a freshen-up after tailing the Group Two Victory Stakes (1200m) field at Doomben on April 28, his third successive run in Group company on a good track.
Before his one-off trip to Brisbane Jungle Edge also struck firm ground in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick where he finished 10 lengths behind the winner Trapeze Artist.
Apart from drier than usual autumn tracks, Bell believes Jungle Edge’s struggles before his freshen-up stem from a first-up second to Redzel in the Group Two Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 10.
“He ran so well, maybe that sort of put him over the edge a little bit and he’s had a couple of nagging issues that he’s over now,” he said.
Bell trialled Jungle Edge in-house at the Cranbourne training centre last week and was impressed.
“He went quite well so he’s booked to go on the truck tomorrow,” he said.
Bell said the drop in grade was as welcome as the weather as the triple Group Three winner tries to improve on his eighth in the 2016 edition of the June Stakes.
“He’s quite proven around this level isn’t he? He just needs those wet tracks at Group One level so that’s why I decided not to stay in Queensland,” he said.
“The only thing is he has plenty of weight (60.5kg) on Saturday, though he’s carried it before.
“Even if we got a soft 6 we’d be happy, but the wetter the better.”
Jungle Edge, who has recorded all his 13 career wins on wet tracks, will return home on Sunday but if he runs well, another trip to Sydney for the Winter Dash (1200m) at Randwick on June 23 will be on the agenda.