Baker and King capture the Crown

Exotic Ruby has scored a fitting win for trainer Bjorn Baker at Hawkesbury.

Trainer : BJORN BAKER.
Trainer : BJORN BAKER.

Trainer Bjorn Baker has celebrated a feature race win at Hawkesbury with outsider Exotic Ruby on what has been a momentous day for his family. 

Baker's father, renowned trainer Murray Baker, officially retired on Saturday following a decorated career and his son was thrilled to claim the Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown (1300m) on the same afternoon. 

"I'm now the best trainer in my family," Baker quipped. 

"He's had a great career. He loves Australia, that's one of the reasons I'm here. Any good horses he gets he brings them over here." 

When asked what his father would do in retirement, Baker was quick to respond: "Drive me mad," he said. 

Exotic Ruby was originally an emergency but with several scratchings due to the heavy track, she gained a start and jockey Rachel King made the most of the opportunity. 

A well-bred daughter of Snitzel, Exotic Ruby ($26) pulled out all stops to prevail by a neck over Pippali ($41) with Fashchanel ($7.50) another head away third. 

Brookspire started a $2.40 favourite but never threatened and finished eighth. 

It was a timely win by Baker's six-year-old on another front as she is due to be sold as a broodmare prospect at the end of next month. 

"She's entered for the Magic Millions sale. (Bloodstock agent) Jim Clarke actually bought her for $105,000 and we thought she might be able to win a midweek," Baker said. 

"But she has just kept improving. She is a valuable mare now." 

Baker was confident Exotic Ruby would perform well despite her long odds after she put the writing on the wall with a solid first-up placing at Randwick earlier this month. 

"Her work has been very good since and she's rock-hard fit and fitness counts for a lot at the moment," he said. 

King was able to let Exotic Ruby stride forward from a midfield draw and said she knew the mare would keep finding when challenged. 

"She is very tough and when one gets to her, I know she will fight again," King said. 

"I knew she was rock-hard fit today and ready to run the best race." 

Baker has no concrete plans for Exotic Ruby but will weigh up his options following her win. 


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