Trainer Mick Bell expects fan favourite Jungle Edge on Saturday at Caulfield to strengthen his case for a slot in the $15 million Everest later in the year.
The veteran sprinter and last start Group 3 winner at Caulfield is among the leading chances for the Bletchingly Stakes (1200m).
The rising 10-year-old marvel has banked $1.75 million in stakes money for connections, winning 19 of 82 career starts.
“If he wins on Saturday it (Everest worthiness) might get too much to ignore,” Bell said.
“They (slot holders) tend to like to get value for money and do a deal with colts … the new kids on the block, waiting for the next superstar.
“I’ve still got hopes he might get to run and they all know he’d be competitive if it was wet and it usually is.
“All we can do is keep running well and it will sort itself out … but firstly we’ll try to win the Bletchingly.”
Jungle Edge, ridden by Jade Darose, wins the Neds Sir John Monash Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse on July 11. Picture: Natasha Morello/Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
All of Jungle Edge’s wins, including five Group 3s, have been on wet tracks.
He was second in the Bletchingly last year, splitting Oak Door and Princess Of Queens, and third the year before behind Vega Magic and Voodoo Lad.
“He’s jumping out of his skin,” Bell beamed.
“So long as (the track) is in the soft range, it suits us down to the ground.
“He doesn’t win every time, but he always has a decent old crack and we’re in this race right up to our ears.”
Jungle Edge is again likely to meet Sir John Monash Stakes placegetters Viridine and I Am Someone.
Bold frontrunner and Group 1 winner Streets Of Avalon has also been nominated.
“If something wants to lead bad enough they can,” Bell said.
“No matter how fast they want to go we can sit next to them, that’s not a drama.”
Trainer Mick Bell.Source:Getty Images
Meanwhile, Bell is waiting to hear from South Australia Stewards about a swab irregularity Jungle Edge returned to an anti-inflammatory after winning the Group 3 Mackay Stakes at Morphettville on May 2.
“I’ve acted well within the guidelines, at my end, the whole time, we’ll see how the whole thing plays out.
“I can’t imagine it being too long now.”
Bell was not in South Australia with Jungle Edge on May 2 due to COVID-19 restrictions and insisted he acted in accordance with the rules of racing.
The common anti-inflammatory is allowed in the treatment of horses but not on race day.
“The cut-off time being able to give that (non-performance-enhancing anti-inflammatory) is three days and he (Jungle Edge) had it five days (before the race),” Bell said.
“I really can’t say much more … the inquiry will work out how it’s got there.”
MORE RACING NEWS
MR QUICKIE STARTS SPRING CARNIVAL PREP
Enigmatic Group 1 winner Mr Quickie will take the first steps towards a second spring carnival campaign on Wednesday with a jumpout at Pakenham.
Mr Quickie was a beaten favourite last time out at Caulfield in April, charging at the finish to run second.
Trainer Phillip Stokes said the Queensland Derby winner would again be targeted towards the Caulfield Cup but only if form warranted contesting the spring classic.
“He’s matured and looks great, we just got to start him off in something low,” Stokes said.
“Last time he stepped out in the All Star Mile, this time we’ll probably step him out in a 1400m handicap somewhere to get him winning again.
Mr Quickie before last year’s Caulfield Cup. Picture: AAP Image/Vince CaligiuriSource:AAP
“His first up record is great and at 1400m he’ll be hard to beat, he’ll still get out to 2000m as he gets deeper into his prep.”
Mr Quickie boasts a terrific turn of foot but has had a knack of getting too far back in his races.
The rising five year-old of Shamus Award was fancied as a Caulfield Cup prospect last year after savaging the line first up in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes.
Unfortunately the potential gut buster flattened the noted swooper, who went on to run 10th and 11th respectively in the Turnbull Stakes and Caulfield Cup.
Mr Quickie is rated a $51 chance at TAB in both Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate markets.
Originally published asJungle Edge out to strengthen Everest case
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