PROFILES

Baker Racing- Murray and MarianneMURRAY BAKER

Murray Baker has been one of New Zealand’s leading trainers for the last 20 years. In that time he has won over 800 races including over 100 stakes races.

Murray began training in the mid 1980’s in Woodville, New Zealand. He was quick to produce a good horse with Wellington Derby and New Zealand St Leger winner Sir Vigilant. This early success was followed by many more top liners such as Kates Myth, The Phantom, Miss Stanima, Lets Sgor, Staring and (My) Eagle Eye.

In 2000 Murray decided to relocate north to Cambridge and once again was quick to produce big results with Prized Gem winning the Brisbane Cup and Kelt Capital Stakes in 2002. Further Group 1 winners have followed with Emerald Dream, Dowry, Ambitious Owner and in 2008, Fully Fledged and AJC Derby winner Nom Du Jeu. Nom Du Jeu also ran 2nd in the 2008 Caulfield Cup. In 2009 The Heckler won the Group 1 Manawatu Sires Produce for two year olds.

Murray has trained three New Zealand Fillies of the year – Kates Myth, Lets Sgor and Staring. He has trained the winners of the Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane Cups – Miss Stanima, Eagle Eye and Prized Gem. He has also trained The Phantom to finish second in the Melbourne Cup in what is still a record race time. He is one of the few New Zealand trainers to not only train a Group 1 winner in New Zealand, but also four states of Australia (VIC, NSW, SA and QLD)

As well as the success on the racetrack, Murray has always been a trader of horses. Proven performers such as Kate’s Myth, Lets Sgor, Dowry and Ambitious Owner have been sold overseas, possibly before reaching their peak on the racetrack in New Zealand. Recent graduates sold out of the stable include 2007 VRC Derby winner Kibbutz, after being stakes placed in his only start as a two year old for the stable and Black Mamba, a Grade 1 winner in the USA in 2008.

Murray approaches his business with integrity and is honest with his clients. His aim is to try to optimize the returns to his clients – whether this is with enjoyment through racing or financially by trading to the many lucrative offshore markets. He is constantly looking at ways to improve both the horse’s performance and the client’s enjoyment. Let’s hope the winners keep coming and you can be part of the success.

Murray was joined by his son, Bjorn, in partnership from the start of the 2008-09 season and what a season it was with 73 wins in New Zealand, 1 in Australia and earnings in excess of $3.7 million. The stable was 2nd in New Zealand for the number of wins and had the most wins in the North Island. The stable had 10 stake wins in Australasia as well as placings in Group 1 races such as the AJC Derby, Caulfield Cup, Sydney Cup, Auckland Cup and Kelt Capital. The season was capped off with the crowning of The Heckler as Champion NZ 2yo and Nom Du Jeu as Champion Stayer ahead of stablemate Mr Tipsy. Harris Tweed was also the highest rated 3yo at 1601m + on the free handicap. In 2010 Lion Tamer won the prestigious VRC Derby for the stable and Murray became one of the few trainers to train the winner of both the AJC and VRC Derby. Harris Tweed was also a gallant 2nd in the 2010 Caulfield Cup, ran a creditable 5th in the Melbourne Cup and for the third year in a row the stable had the first New Zealand trained runner home in the great race.

“So when an owner gets an offer and asks for my advice, I ask them if they want a chequebook or a scrapbook.” Murray Baker 2007

Baker Racing - Andrew and SaraANDREW FORSMAN – Co-Trainer

Andrew has been with Murray for the last ten years and became foreman when Bjorn left for Sydney two years ago. He was also employed part-time as a Camera Operator/Floor Manager with “Trackside” racing channel in the earlier days, which has help gain valuable industry knowledge and contacts which will prove an asset to Baker Racing.

Highlights for Andrew have involved strapping Nom du Jeu in the 2008 Melbourne Cup and taking care of Lion Tamer in Sydney before he went on to win the 2010 VRC Derby. Andrew is looking forward to going into partnership with Murray in the new season 2012-2013, and continuing the success the stable has enjoyed in recent years.

Baker Racing - Bjorn and AndreaBJORN BAKER - Warwick Farm (Sydney)

Murray’s son Bjorn joined the family business in a partnership on August 1st 2008.
Bjorn is a qualified pharmacist and spent four years at Otago University in the late 1990′s. He has worked in New Zealand, Australia, England and Ireland as a pharmacist which allowed him to attend many of Australasia’s and Europe’s great races. Bjorn spent time with Irish Hall of Fame trainer, John Oxx in 2006/07 and master US trainer, Christophe Clement in 2008. He has worked for Murray on and off at every opportunity from a young age, and also worked for Wakefield Stud in the Hunter Valley whilst a University student.

In 2007, Bjorn decided to forgo his Pharmacy career and join Murray. With a health degree behind him is interested in new technology that will keep Baker Racing one step ahead of the competition. Since joining the Murray Baker Racing Stables, Bjorn has been responsible for implementing many changes in the stable at Cambridge. He accompanied Nom Du Jeu on his highly successful Autumn Carnival campaign in 2008, winning the AJC Derby and nearly pulled it off again in 2009 when Harris Tweed was a close 2nd. Murray and Bjorn work well together and bring different skill sets that make Baker Racing a formidable team.

Bjorn has relocated to Sydney from the start of the 2011/12 season and trains out of Warwick Farm.

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