Report: Foreign champ Madison County joining Brown barn

November 13, 2019 08:30am

It's a revolving door of champions for trainer Chad Brown. Following the recent retirement of presumed champion turf horse Bricks and Mortar, China Horse Club revealed New Zealand champion Madison County will soon be part of Brown's New York shedrow.

Michael Wallace, bloodstock manager for China Horse Club’s international racing operation, told that New Zealand’s champion 3-year-old in 2018 could thrive in U.S.-style racing and that sending him to Brown for next season's campaign was “a pretty obvious choice, really.”

Madison County rose from a $36,000 auction purchase in New Zealand to a champion for trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman following wins in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas and one-mile Levine Classic, both Group 1s, while also finishing runner-up in the Australian Derby (G1). 

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 told

"He has got a great demeanor 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),” Wallace continued. “if you can run off the bend and close well, that puts you in a good spot.”

A 4-year-old gelding by Pins, Madison County has won 4 of 14 starts but this year failed to match the success of a season ago. He was winless in three starts this past spring, though noted he “was a victim of wide barriers and was beaten fewer than five lengths on all three occasions.”

Madison County’s transfer to Brown comes on the heels of French Group 1 winner Billesdon Brook reportedly joining his stable following her eighth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Wallace elaborated on the decision to send Madison County to Brown.

"Chad is one of the leading trainers full stop, but obviously on the turf he is just at a different level it seems,” he told "He has got a good grasp on how to train these horses when you have to mix your synthetic training and your dirt training onto your turf."

Wallace also added China Horse Club could increasingly shuttle horses between international racing jurisdictions.


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