In the mould of Chris Waller and others before him kiwi trainer Bjorn Baker will up stumps in New Zealand in the next few weeks to have a crack at the Australian Racing game.
Looking for better opportunities and an overall change in lifestyle, Baker will move into his new home at some stage during July.
“I’m training from Warwick Farm in Sydney, I’m very excited about it, going to be a big move but I can’t wait,” He said.
He had narrowed his options down to either Melbourne or Sydney but ultimately his better half may have given him his final instructions.
“Happy wife, happy life,” He said.
“She was in Sydney for four years, that’s where we met and we still have a lot of friends there so it’s a pretty easy move for the both of us.”
Another big factor is obviously what opportunities were available and with the old Patinack Farm stables recently vacated the timing seemed perfect.
“It was where I could get in, it’s a great training setup with lots of green grass around and lots of space, very user friendly and easy access to the track,” he said.
“We’re moving to a readymade setup and it’s really professional, I couldn’t be more happy.”
While he will be on the premises quite quickly Baker is well aware of the patience he will need to show to become a success in the industry.
“Initially we’ll only take a handful of horses, once I get the horses I’ll be happy,” He said.
“We need to try and get as many owners as we can, we need plenty of good support.”
He’s optimistic about his chances across the Tasman though and he thinks very highly of the Australian Racing Industry and the country as a whole.
“It’s the land of opportunity, racing is booming, there’s nothing better than being on track in Australia,” He said.
“There are carnivals all year round and you’re guaranteed to get good tracks, in New Zealand there are four or five months worth of bad tracks.”
When asked about his thoughts on the current state of New Zealand racing Baker was clearly frustrated but he maintained his respect for the industry.
“I know one or two young trainers who are looking to get into Asia in the future,” He said
“Racing in New Zealand has been very good to me with a lot of good clients there.
“Unfortunately in New Zealand the prize money has dropped off and it doesn’t look like coming back in the future.”
Having said that the actual quality of horses, trainers and jockeys across the country is not in question as shown by constant international success.
“New Zealand is a great place to bring up horses and they really punch above their weight across the world,” He said.