Dual Group One winning three-year-old Madison County was scratched from the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa today with a sale to Hong Kong pending.
Owners the China Horse Club tweeted “It was great to share and race the country’s best 3yo. #pins #HKDerby #CHCsellers #lovehim.”
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Pins gelding won four of his eight starts in New Zealand, including the Gr.1 New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November and the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham last month.
He was also the winner of the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) in October and was luckless when third to Long Leaf in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) last start.
With a domestic rating of 95, Madison County is the clear top-rated three-year-old in New Zealand.
The China Horse Club’s racing and bloodstock manager, Michael Wallace, confirmed the sale process was almost completed.
“The sale process is well down the track and we hope to have it all finalised early next week,” he said.
“While it is a shame to miss out on the opportunity to contest another Group One it will be exciting to see him head up to Hong Kong for the next stage of his career.”
Madison County is a son of the outstanding late sire Pins, who has proven a revelation in Hong Kong as the sire of two-time Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon and four-time Group One winner Aerovelocity.
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 won four of his 8 starts and over $592,000 in prizemoney and looks an obvious candidate for next year’s Hong Kong Derby (2000m), which is run for four-year-olds.