NZ G1 winner Madison County to race in US

Dual New Zealand Group One winner Madison County is to continue his career in North America with trainer Chad Brown.

The China Horse Club-owned gelding has won four of his 14 starts and was New Zealand's Champion Three-Year-Old on the back of Group One victories in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and the Levin Classic (1600m) and second in the Australian Derby (2400m).

The four-year-old failed to show his best in three runs in Melbourne this spring for premier NZ trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, but was a victim of wide barriers.

"We just felt it was an opportunity to try something and the fact that he is a gelding allowed us to do that a lot more freely," China Horse Club's racing and bloodstock manager Michael Wallace told NZ Racing Desk.

"As we go down the road, there is opportunity to move horses from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and it is something that we've never done or a lot of people have never done.

"We felt that there was a potential opportunity for him to race very well all-year-around in a pretty open turf division in America."

Wallace believes Madison County has the right attributes for American racing.

"He has got a great demeanour and that is going to help him with the travel and he has got a very good turn of foot which you require in most places, but definitely the way they run the races in the United States, if you can run off the bend and close well, that puts you in a good spot.

"It has been a great result having him be the champion three-year-old and Murray and Andrew have done such a terrific job with him.

"It will be sad for them to see him go, but he went with their blessing and we have plenty of other nice horses coming through with them, which is encouraging.

"Chad is one of the leading trainers full stop, but obviously on the turf he is just at a different level it seems."

Other New Zealand horses have raced with success in the US.

Group One-winning New Zealand juvenile Happyanunoit went on to be a triple Grade One winner for the late Bobby Frankel, while Black Mamba won at the elite level for California trainer John Sadler, having previously been prepared by Baker.