Group One glory in Levin Clas­sic

Waipa Post - - Sport -

Tough-as-teak three­year-old Madi­son County be­came a dual Group One win­ner when he over­came some home-straight dif­fi­cul­ties to take out the Gr.1 Fu­sion Elec­tri­cal Levin Clas­sic (1600m) at Tren­tham.

The Mur­ray Baker and An­drew Fors­man-trained Pins geld­ing had been un­sighted on a race-track since his barn-storm­ing fin­ish to claim the Gr.1 New Zealand Two Thou­sand Guineas (1600m) at Ric­car­ton back in Novem­ber.

Car­ry­ing the fa­mil­iar colours of owner, the China Horse Club, Madi­son County was sent out a short-odds favourite to claim his sec­ond elitelevel vic­tory de­spite his two-month ab­sence from com­pet­i­tive ac­tion.

His sup­port­ers were happy as rider Matt Cameron set­tled his charge on the rail in mid­field on a good speed set up by sta­ble­mate Espresso Mar­tini.

Although sav­ing plenty of ground, that in­ner po­si­tion started to be­come a trap as the pair found them­selves be­hind a wall of horses en­ter­ing the home straight.

Cameron fi­nally found a clear path at the 250m mark that Madi­son County took full ad­van­tage of as he dove be­tween run­ners with a pow­er­ful sprint to claim vic­tory from fel­low Cam­bridge vis­i­tors Hyp­nos and Ver­nanme, who dead-heated for sec­ond.

“He’s not very big but he’s all heart,” Fors­man said.

“He was four back on the fence and, in re­al­ity, that was al­ways where he was go­ing to be.

“I sort of wanted to walk away half-way through the race as I thought he had too much to do.

“He was a horse who hadn’t raced for awhile and prob­a­bly just felt the pinch at the end, but he was very brave.”

Fors­man in­di­cated Madi­son County would now be aimed at the Listed Karaka Mil­lion 3YO Clas­sic (1600m) at Eller­slie in a fort­night.

“Pro­vided he comes through this well, there is no rea­son he wouldn’t (go to Eller­slie),” he said.

“He will im­prove a lot fit­ness-wise, so hope­fully he will be com­pet­i­tive there.”

Madi­son County also holds a nom­i­na­tion for the Gr.1 Voda­fone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Eller­slie on March 2, while he may tackle the older horses un­der weight-for­age con­di­tions be­fore then in the Gr.1 Her­bie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on Fe­bru­ary 9.

Bred by Garry Chittick, Madi­son County was a $36,000 pur­chase by Michael Wal­lace on be­half of the China Horse Club from Waikato Stud’s Select Sale draft at the 2017 Na­tional Year­ling Sale at Karaka.

He has now won four of his seven starts and over $530,000 in prize­money.

Photo / Race Im­ages — Peter Rubery

Matt Cameron guides out­stand­ing three-year-old Madi­son County to Group One glory at Tren­tham.

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