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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Maxwell Frederick Baker

Maxwell Frederick Baker

Member 1988

b. 27 January 1945

Max Baker's victories on the track comprehensively proved that he was a top flight horseman and undoubtedly Tasmania's leading jockey during his record breaking 24-year career.

Max rode his first winner at Spreyton on 17 December 1960 and from the infancy of his career it was obvious he was destined for the top. He went on to become the first Tasmanian apprentice to ride 100 winners.

In 1973 he moved to the centre of Australian racing Victoria. Here he was to match wits and ability with the best jockeys in Australasia but he was equal to the task. During his four year stay he was acknowledged as one of the 10 best riders in Melbourne. His big race wins included the 1974 Moonee Valley Cup (Lord Metric), the 1976 Oakleigh Plate (Kentland), and two Geelong Cups, one in 1975 on Dowling Girl and one in 1977 on Brallos. He finished third in the 1974 Melbourne Cup on New Zealander Captain Peri.

At home Baker won every major Tasmanian race except the Hobart Cup. He won his hometown Launceston Cup at Mowbray three times, in 1970 on Red Tornado, in 1973 on Woodfield and in 1981 on Anzaas.

One of his most satisfying achievements came at Elwick on Anzac Day 1981 when he rode every winner on a five event programme. Baker twice rode four winners on the same day, as well as chalking up 37 trebles and 152 doubles. All up, Max was a winner of 1,124 races around Australia. He won the Tasmanian Jockeys' Premiership an incredible nine times:

  • 1967- 68
  • 1968-69
  • 1969-70
  • 1970-71
  • 1971-72
  • 1977-78
  • 1980-81
  • 1982-83
  • 1983-84

He retired in 1984 as Tasmania's leading jockey.