We recently sat down with Jack Bruce, racing manager at Baker Racing to discuss the ins and outs of his role. Or as he put it; what it’s like being Bjorn Baker’s “extra pair of arms.” Metamorphosis included.
What is your role at Baker racing?
My official title is Racing Manager but to be honest I am the extra pair of arms for Bjorn. Each morning I help with trackwork and saddle up on raceday. Then I morph into a stable manager when needed in the stables and get right into animal husbandry when needed.
And unfortunately I get to pick up a whole lot of administration – like managing BOBS and Golden Slipper nominations, clients’communications, some accounts work and doing jockey bookings.
The best part of my job is going to the races and watching the horses run. When I have been working in the stables and on the track and get to be at the race day as well – it’s such a full level of involvement you couldn’t want for more.
So much goes into getting a horse to that point and it’s extremely rewarding if they win – whether it’s at Bathurst or Royal Randwick. That’s the end game for all of us!
How did you come to work with Baker Racing?
Good timing really.
I was in Australia as part of the Godolphin Flying Start program and Bjorn was having a cracker of a day at Rosehill. Burbero had just won and there was a crowd in the bottom bar. Bjorn had trained a double that day and was in good spirits and we just got chatting. It was a great afternoon and I thought myself lucky to have been there.
But it was 2 months later in the security queue at the airport on the way to Hong Kong when we really got to talking. It was at that stage Bjorn knew he needed a Racing Manager to take over as Jim Clarke was moving to England. So I moved back from overseas to set up home at Baker Racing. And the rest can be classed as history.
Why did you get into racing?
Just like so many others in the industry I’d always had an interest from a young age. My father was a hobby breeder and a racing enthusiast and always had a horse in work in New Zealand.
From a personal point of view – I just love the animals. It’s like having 80 children and you get to watch them grow from yearlings to winning races right across Australia.
And when they pop their head over the barn door in the morning for a scratch when you arrive to take their temperature, it just signals a good day.