Iconic trainer Murray Baker to retire

Iconic trainer Murray Baker to retire

RACING NEWS | BY ALEX WILTSHIRE

 

 

I conic trainer Murray Baker has made the decision to retire on April 30. e 75-year-old will bring the curtain down on a glittering career that has included 56 Group 1 wins, with 22 of those coming across the Tasman in Australia. A pioneer for targeting feature races in New Zealand’s prize-money rich neighbour, Baker won ve Australian Derbys (Gr 1, 2400m) in Sydney, headlined by arguably his greatest horse – six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel (High Chaparral) – and a Cauleld Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) with Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor). e announcement of his retirement comes just days after the handler brought up his latest Group 1 win with e Chosen One’s (Savabeel) success in the orndon Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.
 Baker was inducted into the New Zealand racing Hall of Fame in 2018. In a letter to owners, Baker said: “It has been a long and enjoyable road since I started with Harry Greene at the old Greenmeadows Napier track in 1958. During this time, I have been fortunate to have had some very good horses along the way, met a lot of marvelous people and had a lot of fun times. “Andrew Forsman will take over training in his own right on May 1, 2022 with a wealth of experience behind him having worked for and with me over the past 18 years. I am sure you will support him as you have supported me over the years.” Baker trained his rst winner in 1978 and won his rst Group 1 race in the New Zealand St Leger in 1985 (Gr 1, 2800m) courtesy of Sir Vigilant (Sir Tristram).
In 2008, he entered into a training partnership with his son, Bjorn. e pair won in excess of 30 stakes races during their three seasons together, before Bjorn decided to ply his trade from his Warwick Farm base in Sydney. Reecting on his father’s retirement, Bjorn said in a statement yesterday: “A great racehorse trainer and a New Zealand Hall of Fame inductee, he’s been through the highs and lows of racing and competed at the best levels on his own terms. “Winner of ve Australian Derbys and having won more Group 1 races in Australia than any other New Zealand-based Kiwi trainer, I am sure his dry wit will be missed at the Cambridge track – lucky Mum!
“I am grateful to have learned from a master. An excellent mentor, he’s cheered home nearly every winner I’ve had, from Randwick to Orange and back … Although it’s doubtful the dent in his armchair can get any deeper, after years of relentless hard work, he deserves a wonderful retirement.” Having worked with Murray since 2004, Andrew Forsman joined Baker in a training partnership in 2012, and will take over the running of the stable in a solo capacity upon Baker’s retirement in April. “Andrew has been wanting to go on his own, so this gives him that chance. He’s ready,” Baker said. “Andrew has been dealing with the owners and attending the races for the stable for a while now, so I don’t see the transition being a problem. He’s learned a lot, come a long way, and I hope something has rubbed o from me in the way he trains.