Mick Bell is living his racing dream with Jungle Edge, which shines a bright light on the trainer as he goes through a dark time.
With emotions still raw since the death of his wife, Bev, from breast cancer less than two months ago, Bell is concentrating on his horses, and Jungle Edge is the clear stable star.
Based in Cranbourne in country Victoria, Bell brought Jungle Edge to Sydney earlier in March looking for wet tracks.
After finishing midfield in the Challenge Stakes then third in the Group One Galaxy last Saturday, Jungle Edge returned to Rosehill seven days later to win the Group Two Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m).
Punters are as enamoured with the wet track specialist as his trainer, sending him out the well supported $2.80 favourite at Crownbet.
With veteran jockey Kevin Forrester aboard, Jungle Edge led from start to finish, holding off Dal Cielo ($6.50) by two lengths.
“Life’s a funny thing,” Bell said.
“I did have an angel on my shoulder. All the support I’ve had is wonderful.
“He has had two runs with the pink (breast cancer) logo on his cap and run third in a Group One and won this race.
“I kept telling people he was the best wet-tracker in Australia.
“This is heady stuff.
“He will stay up here. There’s another race in a couple of weeks at Randwick for him.”
Some of the sprinter’s large group of owners voiced their thoughts on a possible start in next week’s $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes but Bell thinks it might be out of reach.
“We’d have to pay the $55,000 late entry fee,” he said.
“And that would mean running three weeks in a row but we dare to dream.”
And while Jungle Edge has given the trainer something to celebrate, he is not the only horse in the stable.
“Jungle Edge will stay here while we think where to go next,” Bell said.
“I will be going home. I’ve got three to saddle up at Stony Creek on Monday.”