Baker makes hay while sun shines on Downs At The Track

Townsville Bulletin - - Raceguide - CRAIG BAX­TER

TOWNSVILLE trainer Brett Baker’s move to Toowoomba is set to be­come a per­ma­nent one.

Baker ven­tured south to ‘test the wa­ter’ in midNovem­ber.

He cur­rently has 11 horses in work at Clifford Park.

‘‘I can prob­a­bly make a bet­ter liv­ing here than I could in Townsville,’’ Baker said this week.

‘‘Up there I was stuck at half a dozen horses and did a lot of shoe­ing, but in sum­mer I put my horses out and so does ev­ery­one else so there isn’t much shoe­ing to do.


cer­tainly not any eas­ier here, it’s pretty ex­pen­sive. But I’ve picked up a few horses since I’ve been here.’’

Baker said things had been go­ing rea­son­ably well on the race­track.

‘ ‘ I ’ ve only had three starters — Sir Phoenix ran sec­ond here a cou­ple of weeks ago and we were a bit un­lucky last Fri­day when we had one rear in the bar­ri­ers at Ipswich,’’ he said.

Baker has been joined in Toowoomba by wife Chris­tine and chil­dren Court­ney, 13, and Ste­wart, 10.

Baker, 36, be­lieved the time was right to try his luck down south.

‘‘I’ve got a fear in life that I don’t want to get to 65 and look back and say ‘I wish I’d had a go at that’,’’ Baker said.

‘‘I’m 36 now, if you’re any younger own­ers don’t want to lis­ten to you and if you’re any older you miss out.’’ FAR North Queens­land app r e n t i c e C a m p b e l l McCal­lum has been hon­oured in the Prime Minis- ter’s Awards for Skill Ex­cel­lence.

McCal­lum, 17, this month trav­elled to Par­lia­ment House in Can­berra to ac­cept his award as Aus­tralia’s top stu­dent in the Agri-food cat­e­gory.

He was one of 20 stu­dents from around Aus­tralia to re­ceive awards, which recog­nise out­stand­ing skill, com­mit­ment and achieve­ment in vo­ca­tional and tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion.

McCal­lum — in­den­tured to Gor­don­vale trainer Ralph Baker — has com­pleted the first two years of his four-year ap­pren­tice­ship while also com­plet­ing his Year 12 cer­tifi­cate. FEARS have been al­layed that in­ter­state jock­eys may boy­cott next month’s Gold Coast Magic Mil­lions car­ni­val.

Queens­land Rac­ing and WorkCover Queens­land this week reached agree­ment re­gard­ing changes to work­ers com­pen­sa­tion ar­range­ments.

Jock­eys can now claim com­pen­sa­tion based on earn­ings from rid­ing any­where in Aus­tralia, not just Queens­land.

GOOD to see the guys at TAB Sports­bet have a sense of hu­mour.

They had to have been jok­ing with their quote of $10 about an Eng­land win on the fourth morn­ing of the third Ashes test last week­end.

The punch­drunk Poms at that stage were 1-19 in their sec­ond in­nings and need­ing to re­write 129 years of Test cricket his­tory just to get within cooee of a vic­tory tar­get of 557.

$101 would have been a more re­al­is­tic price. THE Townsville Bul­letin sports de­part­ment would like to wish all our read­ers a safe and happy Christ­mas.

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