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Clifford Baker wins top stable staff award

27 February 2012

CLIFFORD BAKER, head lad to champion trainer Paul Nicholls, was on Monday crowned Employee of the Year at the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards 2012 .

Baker was presented with a trophy and a £25,000 cheque, of which £10,000 will be shared amongst the staff at Nicholl's Ditcheat yard.

After receiving his award Baker, who is best known for being work rider to Kauto Star, said: "He's always been a freak. He's always been different and I feel so lucky to ride him every day for seven years."

The awards ceremony, now in their eighth year, followed a formal judging day at the British Horseracing Authority's headquarters on Sunday where each of the finalists were interviewed by members of a judging panel.

Brough Scott, chairman of the panel said: "It is appropriate that Clifford Baker rides Kauto Star every morning because he has long been the Kauto Star of stable staff. His whole career has been a magnificent example how outstanding staff play a major role in any trainer's success."

Dual champion Flat jockey Paul Hanagan presented the awards at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, London. "Jockeys know more than most the level of dedication and hard work demonstrated everyday by Stud and Stable Staff," he said.

"It is a real privilege to spend time with them, and to be able to acknowledge everything they do for the sport in front of their family, friends and colleagues."

Following the ceremony Godolphin have announced they will continue their sponsorship of the awards for a further three years.

Winners and runners up, in full:

NASS SPECIAL MERIT AWARD
Winner: Jerry Walsh, Travelling Head Lad with Paul Webber

DAVID NICHOLSON NEWCOMER AWARD
Winner: Christoper Lynn, Stable Lad with Ferdy Murphy
Runners Up: Katy Tyler, Rider/Groom with Mark Johnston and Robyn Gray, Head Lass with Diane Sayer

HIGH ACHIEVER AWARD
Winner: Clifford Baker, Head Lad with Paul Nicholls
Runners Up: Andrew Bottomley, Yard Manager with Mark Johnston and William Reddy, Head Lad with Eve Johnson Houghton

RIDER/GROOM AWARD
Winner: Charlotte Cox, Stable Lass with Henry Candy
Runners Up: Peter Johnson, Head Lad with Johnson Racing Limited and Zafar Abbas, Groom with Mahmood Al Zarooni

STUD STAFF AWARD
Winner: Graham Nicklin, Stud Groom at Glebe Stud
Runners Up: Frances Eilbeck, Stud Groom at Minster Stud and Gordon Laing, Assistant Stud Groom at Fittocks Stud

DEDICATION TO RACING AWARD
Winner: Willie Cowe, Head Lad with James Ewart
Runners Up: Burney Hutchison, Head Lad with David R.Lanigan and Lenny Brinkley, Feedman with Roger Varian

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