Sir Rupert Clarke first-up for Madison County

Dual Group One winner Madison County. Photot: Grant Matthew (Race Images Palmerston North)

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Madison County will have his first hit-out of the spring
when he steps out at Caulfield on Saturday to compete in the Gr.1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).

The son of Pins has pleased his connections with the way he has been working in the lead-up to his first-up run.

“Aleisha (Legg), who is over there looking after him, has been thrilled with his work the last couple of weeks and Damian (Lane, jockey) rode him again in his last bit of fast work this (Thursday) morning and was very happy,” Forsman said.

The dual Group One winner will head into the race in a fresh state, but Forsman believes his class and ability should hold him in good stead on Saturday.

“I think he has done enough,” Forsman said. “He has had the one trial at home and a jump out at

“The horses to beat have got weight concession and are race fit. That will be the task he will have to overcome, but he has got a bit of class and has got a good barrier draw (two).

“We will try and hold a spot from that good draw if we can.”

The Cambridge-based training partnership will also line-up promising three-year-old Long Jack in the 4CYTE for Living Legends Hanidcap (1600m).

He won in his first-up assignment over 1400m at Ballarat earlier this month and Forsman believes the
son of So You Think has taken a lot of improvement from that run.

“He seems very bright,” Forsman said. “It is a decent step up in class without it being an overly strong field.

“It’s a little bit of an awkward barrier draw (10) for an inexperienced horse that can get out of his ground a bit. That would be the query, but I think he has improved a bit.”

Meanwhile, Baker and Forsman have been receiving positive reports on Quick Thinker and Rhaegar since their runs in the Gr.3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) last month, which the former won in impressive fashion.

“Quick Thinker will head straight to the Gloaming (Gr.3, 1800m) Saturday-week,” Forsman said.

“Hugh Bowman is tentatively booked to ride him provided his finger passes the medical next week. Rhaegar will head to the same race.

“Bjorn (Baker, caretaker trainer) sent through a clip of both of them this morning. They both look very bright and the reports have been very good. “At this stage it looks like they are shaping up well. “

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