The Sportsman Weekend - - News - CARYL WIL­LIAMSON

POP­U­LAR Vic­to­rian sprinter Jun­gle Edge will con­test the Sum­mer Sprint (1000m) at Royal Rand­wick and is likely to be­come an even more reg­u­lar vis­i­tor Syd­ney.

Jun­gle Edge’s affin­ity for soft and heavy tracks means his op­por­tu­ni­ties are lim­ited in his home state.

With Rand­wick cur­rently rated a soft (7), his trainer Mick Bell has de­cided Jun­gle Edge can be­gin his next cam­paign a lit­tle ear­lier than planned.

Bell is not crit­i­cal of Vic­to­rian tracks which have come un­der fire re­cently for be­ing firm, they just don’t suit his stable star.

“Of the four metropoli­tan tracks, Sandown is one he’s most suited to but they mostly run bench­mark races there and he’s be­yond those,” Bell said.

“He goes well in Syd­ney and the tracks are softer for him.

“I’ve al­ways trained him around the weather.

“He hasn’t had a trial which I would nor­mally give him but he has resid­ual fit­ness from his last cam­paign.

“I would say he would do just about all his fu­ture rac­ing in Syd­ney. The prize money is good, they pay down to 10th and the tracks are more likely suit him.

Jun­gle Edge re­ceived 64.5kg with claim­ing ap­pren­tice Chelsea Hall booked to ride, bring­ing him down to 61.5kg for what will be his first start since he won over 1200m at Bal­larat on Novem­ber 24.

He is 13 rat­ings points ahead of Bada­joz who is the next high­est-rated horse on 94 of eight run­ners in the Sum­mer Sprint.

Although Jun­gle Edge has won 15 races, he has not won on a good-rated sur­face but Bell points out he is still com­pet­i­tive.

“He ran sec­ond to Redzel at Rand­wick one day when broke the track record and so did he,” Bell said.

“So he can run on it, he just prefers it softer.”

Jun­gle Edge has won more than $1.2 mil­lion for Bell and his fel­low own­ers.

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