Marlborough Downs are one training yard down as George Baker Racing moves on
We will miss this logo as the George Baker horsebox takes horses to race meetings
Trainer George Baker, his wife Candida, their children, most of his team and some new young horses have now moved out of their Barton Yard on the Manton Estate.
By June 1 they will be installed at the new home on Robins Farm near Chiddingfold on the Surrey/West Sussex border - the yard there is 'very much up and running'. George Baker racing moved to Manton in December 2012 and since then the Manton Estate has changed hands.
Robins Farm has 52 boxes, comes with 4.47 acres and a selection of all-weather gallops. And there is planning permission for another 25 stables. George Baker told marlboroughequestrian.news: "Seventy is a number we have always been comfortable of having in training. But we definitely want to major on quality over quantity."
Baker's primary reason for moving is he and his wife's desire to own rather than pay rent: "Rent money is often 'dead money', and we can now look forward to investing in our own property - and being masters of our own destiny."
Writing on his blog earlier in May, George Baker explained his plans for the future: "Back in the autumn, we took stock of the team of horses here. The 'Old Guard' have done us proud for so long. The likes of Belgian Bill, Boomshackerlacker, Humidor and Jacks Revenge have been part of the fabric of our lives for many a year. But 'Anno Domini' catching up with us all! And we need the new blood to take up the reins."
"And so, at the Yearling Sales last autumn, we swung the bat. Not majoring on instant action two-year-olds. But buying the type of horse who is going to be with us for a few years. The Royal Ascot horses of the future. Horses that will need time and patience."
"Much the most expensive and best bred gang of youngsters we have been lucky enough to train. Which guarantees nothing...?! They will need time. Several might not even race this year. We will be patient, because we need these guys to be with us long term."
"Not far off fifty per cent of the team is now made up of two-year-olds. Plenty of them out in the paddocks. Growing up. Developing physically. And mentally. No rush..."
"Belgian Bill [see our current Horse in the Spotlight profile] has been a standard bearer, but he is nine now. I can't believe he is still going as he is not the soundest - huge credit to Valerie and Patrick [Murphy - Assistant Trainers] for prolonging his stellar career. Hunt Cup on the agenda..."
They will, he tells us, miss Wiltshire: "Marlborough is a fantastic place to live. And, with two children at Marlborough College from September, we will still be around the place on a regular basis. The grass gallops and the ancient downland are beyond compare, but the time is definitely right to move on to pastures new."
Marlboroughequestrian.news will be keeping an eye on George Baker's horses to see how they like their new home. It is, after all, only twenty miles from Goodwood so they will not have far to travel for some glorious results!
It is reported that George Baker Racing will not be replaced at the Barton Yard by another trainer - but probably by a string of polo ponies.