“If The Everest was run on a heavy 10, this horse would give anything a run for its money,’’ Bell said.
The proud and enthusiastic trainer described Jungle Edge as the nation’s best wet-tracker — with the obvious exception of mighty mare Winx — after the sprinter tore around the Everest course to win the Listed $150,000 June Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
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Bell is a realist and doesn’t expect an Everest slot-holder to come calling for Jungle Edge, particularly as Sydney’s weather in October is usually warm and dry, with the likelihood Randwick will have a fast surface for the world’s richest turf race.
But in heavy track conditions, Jungle Edge excels as he proved again on Saturday, revelling in the going to run his rivals ragged, taking his career earnings over the $1 million prizemoney barrier.
“What a dream come true to get a horse that has clocked over $1 million,’’ Bell said. “He’s a beautiful horse and the ride continues.’’
Jungle Edge ($6.50) took control of the race before the home turn, sprinted well clear and easily held off the late charge of Shiraz ($6) to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths with I Thought So ($2.90 favourite) four lengths away third.
Forrester, 57, said riding Jungle Edge is a unique and interesting experience.
“Jungle Edge is a powerful horse but he is not easy to ride,’’ Forrester said.
“At the 600m he said right I’m going so I said ‘OK off you go’. There is no point fighting him, I just try to keep him balanced and in his rhythm, particularly on these heavy tracks.
“But he’s a marvellous horse, he makes my job easy — I can’t believe I get paid.’’
Bell said he is likely to bring Jungle Edge back to Sydney in two weeks for the $100,000 Winter Dash (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
“I intend to come back here in a fortnight but it is a claiming race so we might consider using an apprentice,’’ Bell said. “He has always been a good horse but he goes to another level on these wet track.
“We will just follow the weather — but for a little bit there I lost my weather mojo!’’
Shiraz, the rising nine-year-old, ran a blinder for second, pleasing trainer Kim Waugh.
“I liked the way he wanted to attack the line today,’’ Waugh said.
“He pulled ground from Jungle Edge over the last 100m. He’s going well, especially when he can get onto a heavy track.’’
I Thought So probably got further back than expected but it was unlikely he would have challenged Jungle Edge.