Ahead of his first full season at a state-of-the-art training base which he secured from Sheikh Fahad, George Baker is plotting a raid on its first big prize.
The Betway Lincoln Handicap comes just a week after the Cheltenham Festival and his contender this year is Crazy Horse, a £40,000 purchase from the 2017 Goffs Autumn horses in training and yearling sale.
The winner of three of his seven starts including the Grade Three Horris Hill Stakes, the former John Gosden-trained handicapper has had niggling training problems which have held up his career.
On the back of a gelding operation, he now has to stay on track and with a preference for easy ground, Baker will be hoping the wet spell continues for the 110-rated individual.
“If we can get him right he has a big engine,” he said.
“He’s had a few issues but he is a happy horse at the moment and we plan to run him in the Lincoln. It’s the obvious target.
“Time will tell whether we have found ourselves a bargain. He’s actually for sale.”
Prospective owners and visitors to Robins Farm, which has just been added to the Course and Distance racing tours stable, will be impressed by the facilities on offer.
Set less than hour from London, the property boasts three American barns, a treadmill and a vibrating plate for horses coming back from injury, a bit like the ones you’d find in a gym for humans.
“We decided to buy this place so we can invest in it,” said Baker.
“It’s better than renting and sending money down the pipeholes. We have been here since June last year and we spent the winter bedding in and getting used to everything.
“We haven’t had as many winners as usual but we are getting going now.”
The last two horses to be sent out from this smart training base have won- Heptathlete was claimed after scoring over six furlongs in France while Dazibao’s winning debut in an all-weather National Hunt Flat race prompted talk of Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
“We’ve always thought he was an exciting horse, although I’m not sure what he beat,” said Baker.
“He’s needed plenty of time and patience, has grown up a lot and we hope to take him to Liverpool.
“If he doesn’t quite stay the two miles in the bumper there he will be a lovely middle distance type for the Flat.”
Sir Alex Ferguson has enjoyed success at the yard for many years with horses like I’m Fraam Govan and he’s back for more with a Kodiac three-year-old called Chess Move.
The sprinter was gelded after trailing home last in a Turkish Group Three worth £98,000 in September.
“We met a long time ago and I have been training for him for about ten years,” said Baker.
“He has kindly supported us and this horse should win again later in the season.”