Madison County (Matt Cameron, outside) edges out Langkawi (Shaun McKay) at Hastings.
Madison County followed in the footsteps of a famous stablemate with a win at Hastings this afternoon, setting himself up for an exciting three-year-old season of his own.
The two-year-old race on Hawke’s Bay Cup day has been won by subsequent stakes winners in each of the last four years, including the Group One stars Xtravagant and Bonneval.
The latter is trained by the champion Cambridge pair of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, who targeted Hastings again today with two runners in the The Elbow Room Sports Bar 2YO – Madison County, who ran home strongly from last to run third on debut at Rotorua earlier this month, and the first-starter Visconti.
Rider Matt Cameron had Madison County in a more forward position today, sitting third behind the leading pair of What A Smasher and Langkawi.
Madison County quickened smartly in the straight to move up alongside Langkawi. That runner fought back gamely on the inside, but Madison County always appeared to have the upper hand and scored by a long head. Fialka finished three and three-quarter lengths away in third.
“He won very well today,” Forsman told www.theinformant.co.nz. “He’s a lovely horse and we’ve always had a lot of time for him. He’s just been a bit immature.
“He’ll probably go for a spell now and come back as an exciting three-year-old in the spring.”
Raced by the China Horse Club, Madison County’s two starts have already earned back almost half of his $36,000 purchase price at the Select Sale at Karaka last year.
Madison County was bred by Waikato Stud’s Garry Chittick and descends from one of the farm’s most special families. The fourth dam is the Golden Slipper winner Courtza, dam of multiple Group One winner and champion sire O’Reilly.