George Baker – Trainer Profile

George Baker
License: UK and Ireland
Date of Birth:
United Kingdom
UK and Ireland
Notable Horses:
Fly by Night, Secretatiat, Made As Hell
Titles Awarded:
Biggest Wins:
  • NA
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About George Baker

Less than 10 years ago George Baker was working as a stock market trader in the City of London when he realized he wanted to do something different with his life. The outgoing former public schoolboy had always been seriously interested in horse racing and had spent his spare time learning the rudiments of training at home and abroad. In a daring move, Baker left the City to work as racing journalist before deciding to set out on his own as a trainer, and after gaining a licence from the British Horseracing Authority he and his wife Candida teamed up with Pat and Valerie Murphy, two experts in helping prepare horses for their races. The rest, as they say, is history.

After saddling his first winner, Music Box Express, with only his second runner as a trainer in 2008, Baker made a fine start from his Warwickshire base surprising many skeptics who felt his crack at training racehorses was no more than a passing whim. Neutral observers soon realized that Baker and his team were shrewd operators and they ended the 2008 season with a very respectable 15 winners.

The yard quickly gained a reputation as something of a gambling stable after a number of successful gambles were landed, including with the juvenile filly Excellerator who was backed from as big as 9/1 to 5/4 before hacking up on her debut at Southwell.

Baker enjoyed a steady stream of successes both on the Flat and over the jumps; 26 in 2009, 40 in 2010, and 46 in 2011, after moving to train at the iconic Whitsbury stables in the south of England previously occupied by Ralph Beckett and David Elsworth.

Among the most media friendly of racehorse trainers, Baker’s high profile has seen him attract a roster of famous sporting owners, principal among them Sir Alex Ferguson, for whom he has trained a number of winners including Sinbad The Sailor and I’m Fraam Govan.

The Baker horses are also famed for travelling far and wide in search of winning opportunities, including in France, Germany, Turkey, and Sweden, as well as being regulars at the races in the Channel Islands.

Although 2012 and 2013 saw Baker send out slightly less winners than in 2011, the team – which moved to the legendary Manton training estate in 2013 – was targeting better quality races with better horses, a policy that paid very rich dividends when Belgian Bill (33/1), under a brilliant ride from James Doyle, stormed home to win the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot in June 2013, confirmation that Baker had well and truly earned his spurs on the biggest stage of international flat racing.

George Baker’s horses have enjoyed consistent successes at Yarmouth, where he has a strike rate of no less than 35%. He has a 21% strike rate at Newmarket’s July course, 19% at Lingfield’s all-weather track, Chepstow, and at Nottingham, and 18% at Brighton.

In the last couple of season’s Baker has sought to use the best jockey‘s available and with notable success. It is well worth noting that he has a 36% strike rate when teaming up with Jamie Spencer, 35% with Richard Hughes, 23% with Frankie Dettori, and 22% with Jim Crowley [1].