Baker: ‘Manton can put me on big stage’
Wednesday 19 September 2012
By Geoffrey Riddle
George Baker is hugely excited about his move from Whitsbury Manor to Manton and believes that the facilities at historic yard can help propel him to the next level in the training ranks.
Baker will move on December 1 to Barton Yard at Manton, where the likes of John Gosden, Barry Hills and Michael Dickinson trained from. Peter Chapple-Hyam trained Dr Devious from there to win the Derby at Epsom in 1992, also.
Brian Meehan currently occupies Manton but does not have enough horses to fill the 500-acre estate.
“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time at Whitsbury. It’s a magical place but a conversation at Glorious Goodwood has turned into what we have announced,” Baker told Racing UK.
“It’s very exciting and a tremendous opportunity. We want to be playing on the big stage. We’ve only been going four years and that is what it is all about and hopefully going to Manton will take us to the next step.”
Baker took out his training licence in 2007 and since then has sent out 150 winners on the Flat and 34 over the jumps and hopes to continue to act as a dual-purpose handler.
“It’ll be the first time there has been two trainers at Manton,” Baker added. IT is a huge acreage – 500 acres of grass gallops and wood chip and polytrack gallops.
“I get on very well with Brian and had lunch with him yesterday to get down to the nitty-gritty.
“I will continue to have a few jumpers so they will have to put up a few schooling fences again. I don’t think most of the names who have been there in the past have done an awful lot of that.”
The late Robert Sangster purchased the Manton Estate in 1984 and he immediately installed Dickinson there as trainer.
Dickinson did up both the Barton Yard and Astor yard and was succeeded at Manton by Barry Hills in 1986.
Chapple-Hyam took over in 1991, while Gosden spent six years there from 2000 after which Meehan moved in.
Manton was built in the 1860s by Alec Taylor.