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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

George Baker bidding to go out in style at Les Landes

George Baker: a runner in Sweden on Monday
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The equine George Baker bids to bow out with victory in Jersey on Sunday, when the ten-year-old makes the final start of a career spanning more than eight years.

A stalwart of lower-grade handicaps, George Baker has seven wins from 67 runs to his name, including a unique victory at Leicester in August 2011.

Trained by his namesake George Baker, his win at Leicester came under the jockey George Baker, meaning horse, trainer and jockey all shared the same name.

A winner of the Jersey Guineas in 2015, George Baker makes his fourth start at Les Landes under top weight in the 1m½f handicap.

"I think this will be it," said Baker. "He's a very good lead horse and schoolmaster for the babies and no-one else is going to want a horse with a ridiculous name like that, so he'll be staying with us.

"It's been a long, and at times amusing, tale that was started by Harry Findlay many years ago and he deserves a good home for life. That's exactly what he'll get."

Baker added: "It's not a bad little race but I’d give him a realistic chance, although there may be some younger legs that catch him out."

The trainer also runs Barwick, who makes his first start in Jersey under top weight in the 1m4f handicap.

Baker said: “He’s not going to be improving at nine but hopefully we’ve found a winning opportunity for him.”

While Baker is a regular visitor to Les Landes, trainer Noel Williams saddles his first runners at the Channel Island track, with Cecilator tackling the 1m2f handicap and Daliance running in the only hurdle race on the card.

"It's something I've always wanted to do and it gives the owners a bit of fun as well," said Williams. "Cecilator is a little bit limited but probably running more in her grade here so hopefully she'll have a little bit of a squeak.

"Daliance has been off a while and it will blow the cobwebs away. Two and a half miles around there might be a bit sharp for him but he's well balanced and has gone well at Fakenham so doesn't mind tight tracks. He should go well."  

Also in action is National Service, trained by Shropshire-based Clare Ellam, who contests the 7f handicap.

It’s been a long and at times amusing tale that was started by Harry Findlay many years ago and he deserves a good home for life
E.W. Terms
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