NEWS

Baker Racing - Race Horse Trainers - Cambridge New ZealandMONGOLIAN KHAN BEGINS MELBOURNE CUP QUEST
WALLY O'HEARN - STUFF - July 9, 2015

Former Cambridge trainer Graeme Forbes had a glowing update to present to his boss in China after a fleeting visit to New Zealand last week.
Forbes, New Zealand adviser and trainer for the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry in China, spent four days in New Zealand inspecting the group's horses.

Top of the list was dual Derby winner Mongolian Khan who Forbes inspected at Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman's Cambridge stable last Tuesday, a day after the horse returned to work after a spell at Henley Park.
Forbes gave him a big thumbs up in his report to his boss, Lang Ling, chairman and president of the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry (NZ) Ltd.

"He's grown and strengthened," Forbes said. "He looks really good. I sent the boss some photos and he's happy."
Mongolian Khan is hot favourite for the NZ Horse Of The Year title after becoming the first horse since Bonecrusher 29 years earlier to land the NZ Derby – Australian Derby double and he will attempt to create further history in Melbourne this spring.

As the winner of seven of his nine starts with prize-money of more than $2 million, Mongolian Khan has the credentials to be a leading player at the Melbourne Spring Carnival with his main mission the Melbourne Cup.
"The plan is to start him off with a trial either at Te Teko in early August or Cambridge," Forbes said. "He'll go to Melbourne in early September and Murray is keen to run him in the Underwood Stakes as it's a race he's had a lot of luck in.

"There's the Caulfield Stakes after that and either the Caulfield Cup or Cox Plate. It'll all depend on how he's going, but the main aim is the Melbourne Cup."
Mongolian Khan has certainly come a long way since making his successful debut at Te Rapa last September when winning over 1400m at odds of 41/1.

Forbes was on course for that win and commented afterwards: "I believe Murray and Andrew have some exciting plans for him."
At the time it was a dream to get to the NZ Derby, let alone win it and then go on and land the Australian Derby.
Now there's the Melbourne Cup dream and Forbes is naturally keen to see Mongolian Khan begin the path with a trial, which will be his sole New Zealand appearance before taking on Australia.

- Stuff


Baker Racing - Race horse trainers - Cambridge New ZealandMURRAY BAKER AND ANDREW FORSMAN CRACK CENTURY AND PLAN EXPANSION
TIM RYAN - STUFF - June 4, 2015

Murray Baker knows a thing or two about centuries.


The former first class cricketer knocked a few balls to the boundary during his playing days but the century he achieved on Wednesday in partnership with Andrew Forsman is one which gave the veteran trainer immense satisfaction and pride.

The powerhouse Cambridge training partnership is sweeping all before them in the current season as they head towards creating new records and the trend is likely to continue into future seasons.
The stable has formulated exciting plans in conjunction with the Cambridge Jockey Club to expand and increase numbers with the building of an additional 20 box complex on the site they lease off the CJC to complement the existing 40 boxes.

The partnership also houses and paddock-train a handful of horses from their property across the road from the Jockey Club complex.
The additional boxes will significantly increase stable numbers and decrease the current waiting list, a product of the partnership's overwhelming success.

On Wednesday at Matamata Divine Shiva brought up their century of wins for the season and was part of a three win haul at the meeting. That tally is complemented by an incredible 17 black-type races and stakes of $3,172,570, headed by the New Zealand Derby winner Mongolian Khan, who added the Australian Derby in Sydney. Stakes top $4 million when Mongolian Khan's Derby win is added to the pot.

That eclipses last season's 48 wins and the stable's previous best of 73 wins in 2008-09, when Murray Baker was training in partnership with his now Sydney-based son Bjorn.
Baker began his career in 1978 from Woodville and success came quickly when Vizier beat the great Uncle Remus in the Jackson Stakes at Wanganui in the spring of that year to give him his first stakes win.

His first big Australian win came in 1987 in Sydney with Palliser when "a gem of a Noel Harris ride - one of his absolute best" brought victory in the Group II Tulloch Stakes a race the stable has won three times.
The Sydney Cup, AJC Derby, VRC Derby and a string of other Australian Group I victories have been achieved, several since Forsman joined Baker in partnership in the 2012-2013 season.

The extensive Baker experience has developed a winning recipe for Australian raids. Sydney has become a little easier due to Baker's son, Bjorn, setting up a thriving stable there but successful raids have been implemented in a number of states and all eyes will be on Melbourne in the spring as plans evolve for Mongolian Khan to tackle the biggest prize of all, the Melbourne Cup.
Meanwhile the stable has the promising Percy running on Monday at Rosehill.

"He is second ballot for Saturday's Queensland Derby so we decided to pull pin and head to Sydney for a Benchmark 70 1800 metre race.
"It's worth $50,000 and young Brodie Loy can ride him and claim 3kgs which should make him hard to beat.
"He was badly interfered with last start and didn't get a fair go. He's a good horse and should have a bright future."

Forsman, who joined Baker in partnership in the 2012-2013 season after several years of working in the stable, has had little time to reflect on achieving a century of wins being busy with Matamata and New Plymouth races during the week and Te Rapa on Saturday.

"It's been a great opportunity for me - to come into training with a big team of horses like this," he said.

"We're rapt actually to get our 100. We knew going into the meeting we had a couple of good chances and it was great to get there," Forsman said.
"We've got a good, positive team of people who enjoy what they do behind the scenes and that's showing in the results."

The partnership has gone ahead in leaps and bounds and Baker credits Forsman with playing a big hand in the operation.
"Andrew is very talented," Baker said. "He's a good organisor, he implements our systems well, he's great with staff and he does a lot of groundwork with our owners."

The foundations are strong and the future is promising with capacity for training a larger team and quality won't be compromised.
"We've got a lot of promising young horses at the moment," Baker said. "A lot of them haven't even had a trial but two-year-olds like Get The Jive and Massa Lu are good horses in the making that have already raced along with those yet to be seen."

Building of the new barn is expected to be completed to coincide with the start of the new season in August.
Following the stable's success, the TAB has opened a fixed odds market with a range of prices for the stable tally by season's end on July 31. A return of$21 is offered about their chances of equalling the record of 111 wins set by 2011-12 premiership winner John Sargent, with odds of $7 for less than that tally.

The odds are much shorter, however, around a greater tally, with $2.10 offered for 112 to 115 wins and $2 for 116 or more.
What the next eight weeks holds is the question.
"This time of year you can't take too much for granted," Forsman said.
"While we do have a few around that can handle these heavy tracks, a few of them have now won their maidens and that next step up to Rating 65 grade is the toughest one to make.

"We might get 20 more wins or we might only get two or three. We will be doing our best but we're not going to do anything different to what we normally would.
"It's basically been the perfect season. We'll try to do it all again next season and the season after but it won't be easy. Everything has gone to plan and we haven't had too many setbacks with injuries or anything."

The stable will bid to add to its tally with their six horses entered for Te Rapa on Saturday - Del Rios, Elusive Gold, Zeldara, High Society, Nailed It and Ambitious Pins.

- Stuff

Wow, he’s the real deel!!! (Cambridge JC 13/4/2013)

Cambridge galloper (Its’ A) Dundeel stamped himself as one of the best three-year-olds to come out of New Zealand for a long time when he annihilated his opposition in the Gr.1 $A1.5 million ATC Australian Derby at Rosehill today.

Dundeel was backed as though unbeatable, starting as the $1.25 favourite, and he certainly lived up to his support, giving his fans no cause for concern as he toyed with his rivals over the concluding stages.
After ambling along in the rear group, Dundeel was still giving the leaders a sizable start with half the 2400-metre journey run. But when rider James McDonald gave him a bit more rein coming to the home turn it was obvious he was going to win.

Dundeel cruised around the field and with McDonald barely riding him hands and heels and giving him flick or two on the shoulder with the whip he raced away to score effortlessly by six lengths from Philippi, who was the second favourite at $9.50.
Dundeel became just the fifth horse to complete Sydney’s Triple Crown and the first since the mighty Octagonal. Moorland won the Triple Crown in 1943, then Martello Towers followed in 1959, Imagele in 1973 and Octagonal in 1996.

Nobody was surprised by the win, but what did amaze some racegoers was the ease of the victory.
“He did it pretty easily, didn’t he?” said co-trainer Murray Baker, who also won the race with Nom du Jeu. “He’s so relaxed and so laid back. It takes a very good horse to win three Group Ones in a row in Sydney. I think he could be the best horse I’ve had.”
Dundeel has actually won four Group One races in Sydney, having picked up th Spring Champion Stakes last October before his Triple Crown which included wins in the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas.

McDonald, who added further Cambridge flavour to the Derby win being a local lad, was in awe of Dundeel.
“Man, what a performance! That was McDonald’s comment after the win. “I don’t think I’ve ever won a race so easily and it was Group One. He’s a super colt and he’s going to take me everywhere.”
But McDonald will have to watch from he stands if a decision is made to back Dundeel up in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 17. McDonald copped two suspensions from last weekend’s Golden Slipper meeting.
Two rides certain to be at the top of the list for the Dundeel mount are Hugh Bowman and Michael Rodd. Bowman rode Lion Tamer to an easy win in the 2010 Victoria Derby for the Baker stable and Rodd’s wins for Baker include the Brisbane Cup and Kelt Capital Stakes on Prized Gem.

Baker isn’t in a hurry to make a decision on the Queen Elizabeth start. “We’ll make a decision on that in the middle of next week,” he said. Then he added with a grin, “I don’t think he was taxed too much today.”
Dundeel added to an amazing Group One haul for the Cambridge training centre. His win today took Cambridge’s tally to 13, three ahead of the record season of 2010-11 when the centre had seven Group One winners.
Dundeel must now rate as a raging favourite to win the Cambridge Horse Of The Year title and his popularity in Australia has seen him installed equal favourite for th Cox Plate in October.

Milestone For Baker (28/10/2012)
It’s most appropriate Cambridge trainer Murray Baker celebrated his 1000th training success yesterday in New Zealand with Neo.
Neo became Baker’s third Wellington Guineas winner, following on from Ambitious Owner in 2004 and Rios in 2007, when he proved too strong for his rivals in the Group II NZ Bloodstock-sponsored 1600-metre feature. And on hand to watch the One Cool Cat gelding beat Zinko and Batman were his Brisbane-based owners, Glen and Lisa Morton.

Glen Morton is a son of Billie Morton, who has had a long and successful association with the Baker stable. In fact two of Morton’s horses, Prized Gem and Nom du Jeu are among Baker’s Group One winners. Prized Gem won the Brisbane Cup and Kelt Capital Stakes and her son Nom du Jeu took the AJC Derby.

Neo has shown promise from the outset, being an unlucky third on debut at Tauranga then winning at Awapuni before earning his Wellington Guineas start with a brave second to Warhorse at Ellerslie.
Baker’s training partner, Andrew Forsman, was on hand at Trentham and was thrilled for his boss to record his 1000th win in a Group race.

Neo’s effort sealed a trip to Riccarton for the Group I $300,000 Sothy’s NZ 2000 Guineas on November 17.
While thrilled with Neo’s success, Baker was facing the Australian media after (It’s A) Dundeel was beaten for the first time in the Group II Mitchelton Wines Vase at Moonee Valley,

Punters expected Dundeel to maintain his unbeaten record, but it was the Mark Kavanagh-trained Super Cool who took the honours, ending Dundeel’s winning sequence.
But Baker was philosophical after the defeat and warned punters the horse would be ready to show his best in his main assignment, the Group I VRC Derby next weekend.

It was always a worry running Dundeel around the tight Moonee Valley track and it seemed the circuit did prove his downfall, though he fought right to the line.
“He just raced a little dour,” said Baker. “He should improve. We’ve been a bit easy on him.”
Dundeel was ridden as usual by James McDonald, who also believed the Moonee Valley track was partly responsible for the defeat. “He was almost beaten at Canterbury, almost beaten at Wyong and he’s won really well on two big tracks,” said McDonald. “If any track was going to bring him undone it was going to be the Valley.”
- Cambridge JC


Baker Racing - Andrew ForsmanAssistant trainer Andrew Forsman will join Murray Baker in partnership next season.
Forsman has filled the role as assistant trainer to leading Cambridge horseman Murray Baker for the past season and with the trainer currently enjoying a European holiday, the assistant has taken charge.

 

Stepping into the shoes of one of New Zealand’s greatest trainers is an unenviable task, but Forsman, 29, is relishing the opportunity.
“It’s a great opportunity for me – to come into training with a big team of horses like this,” he said.
“It’s very hard to start off on your own, so it’s a great leg-up for me. It was about five or six years ago that I got the real bug for it. I decided this was what I really wanted to do and it was just a matter of how I was going to go about it. I love horse racing and training is going to be a great challenge.”

 

Forsman grew up in Te Awamutu and attended Te Awamutu College but his main link to racing was through his grandfather Merv Maddren, an owner-trainer in Te Awamutu.
After leaving school, Forsman studied film and television in Auckland and took a part-time job as a cameraman for Trackside, basing himself in Cambridge and supplementing his income working for Baker.

 

“I was doing the two jobs but I realised my heart was really in the horse racing rather than the camera work and I’d rather do something I was passionate about,” he said.
Forsman and his wife Sara married in Sweden last year, did some travelling and then returned to Cambridge to focus on his work.
The couple have since bought a house in Cambridge and Forsman’s elevation to training partner has cemented his career path.
“Murray’s left it all up to me while he’s away, which is great,” Forsman said.
“It’s not too hard at this time of year with just 40 in work. If it had been 60 and we were really flat-out it might have been a different story. I’ve been eased into it and it’s been a really good challenge.”


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