Regally bred Jungle Panther will be striving to continue his affinity with Horsham and box eight in Tuesday afternoon’s lucrative $17,830 Presidents Cup Final (485m).
Jungle Panther, a son of Barcia Bale and dual Group 1 winner Up Hill Jill, trained by Jeff Geall and bred by Geall’s brother David and wife Rose, has won four of his five starts at Horsham, with his only defeat a second placing.
He’s drawn box eight for the ‘one-off’ Presidents Cup – race 6 at 5.19pm on Tuesday – having won six of nine career starts from ‘the pink’, while he’s two for two from the outside at Horsham, including his near-record 26.83sec PB.
“Box eight is his box for sure and if he can run anywhere near his 26.83sec, he’ll go really well.”
Winner of 23 from 58 – an impressive 40 per cent strike rate – Jungle Panther ventures to Horsham after contesting the G2 Warragul and G2 Traralgon Cup heats, running a close third to Matt’s Hope at Warragul, before being unplaced at Traralgon.
Jungle Panther’s already strong prospects of securing the Presidents Cup’s $12,000 winner’s purse were enhanced immeasurably with the scratching of his main rival in former Traralgon 450m record-holder and Traralgon Cup finalist Salad Dodger on Monday.
Salad Dodger, which had drawn box one, is trained by Anthony Azzopardi, who had three finalists in last year’s Presidents Cup including favourite Aston Titan, which finished runner-up to Soda Titan in track record time (26.66sec).
WATCH: JUNGLE PANTHER (B1) was a runaway 25.37sec winner at Warragul on G2 Warragul Cup night, just .05sec outside Mobile Legend’s race record 25.32sec performance in the Cup Final.
“We entered Jungle Panther for the Match Race at Traralgon, but he was a reserve and didn’t get a run, so we’re going to Horsham; he’s obviously run quick times there,” Geall explained.
“Box eight is his box for sure and if he can run anywhere near his 26.83sec, he’ll go really well.
“We’ve studied the head-on vision and the dog does go slight right. I think from box eight on Tuesday he’ll keep his line.
“He’s a super run-home dog, but he just needs a bit of luck early.
“But he’s up against a good one in Salad Dodger. It will be very hard to beat. My Mate Tip and He’s No Slouch are good dogs too. It’s a very good race and credit to Horsham for pulling a field like this together.”
Since running a close fifth in the G1 Melbourne Cup heats, where he was attempting to emulate his half-brother Koblenz, which gave David Geall his second Melbourne Cup triumph in 2021, Jungle Panther has been kept to provincial circuits, with an interstate feature event on his agenda.
“At the moment, we’ll keep him to the one-turn tracks, because we’re going to take him up to Bulli for the (G2) Gold Cup heats (February 12),” Geall said.
“Bulli is a track that should suit him hopefully.”
Tuesday evening’s Horsham meeting also features three heats of the Cardross Memorial (410m), which is run annually in memory of six teenagers that tragically lost their lives when struck by a car in 2006.
Click HERE for Sportsbet’s latest Launceston Cup heat prices
Meanwhile, Geall’s brother David will be in Tasmania for Monday night’s G2 Launceston Cup heats (515m), with defending champion Hill Top Jack (heat 2, box 7) and G1 Hobart Thousand winner and Melbourne Cup runner-up Fernando Mick (heat 5, box 1).
Victoria will also be represented in Launceston by Mark Delbridge’s classy trio Elite Alex (heat 2, box 3), G1 Silver Chief placegetter Landyn Bale (heat 6, box 5), and G2 Laurels finalist Ailee Bale (heat 7, box 6).
Elite Alex is $2.15 favourite ahead of Hill Top Jack at $2.70 with Sportsbet for their standout heat clash, while Fernando Mick and Landyn Bale also head betting on their run-offs at $1.55 and $1.70 respectively.
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