Baker recalls the good days after death of Boomshackerlacker
George Baker has paid a touching tribute to his "great standardbearer" Boomshackerlacker, who died when running at Clairefontaine on Monday.
The winner of five of his 43 starts – including three at Listed level – the seven-year-old fractured a hind leg when about to challenge in the closing stages of a mile conditions race under Maxime Guyon.
"He kept on coming back year after year after year and I remember him winning his maiden at Newmarket when we were all at Royal Ascot cheering him on from afar – from that moment he's been a star," said Baker, who trained Boomshackerlacker for PJL Racing.
"He's been around the world and the seven seas. He never really got much above 100, but rather than running sixth or seventh in big handicaps we found him plenty of opportunities on the continent and had happy days at Vichy, Maisons-Laffitte and Frankfurt.
"He was also placed in Group company and for a horse who never got that high in the ratings he punched above his weight because he thrived on travelling and running in these foreign Pattern races. He was a great standardbearer and, words are easy, but Maxime said he would have bolted up yesterday."
He continued: "It's very sad, but he went out doing what he thrived on because he absolutely loved his work, going racing and travelling.
"Some horses you can't take five miles down the road because they'd get in a muck sweat, but this boy adored it. Vichy was a two-day trip, but he bounced off the lorry down there fresh as paint because that's the type of horse he was."
Baker, who praised officials at Clairefontaine for how they dealt with Boomshackerlacker, added: "He was very willing and would run through a brick wall for you. Horses like him and Belgian Bill don't come along very often. They're the ones who try and try and then try again.
"Mick Channon told me at the beginning this game tames lions and he's absolutely right – the bad days come along. But this horse gave us many more good ones than bad."
A son of Dark Angel, Boomshackerlacker earned £173,671 in prize-money.