MULTIPLE Group One winning jockey, Stephen Baster, has finished his career as a winner with his final ride aboard the Logan McGill-trained Gold Fields at Sandown on Saturday 16 November.
After more than 13,000 rides across his 28-year career, the retiring 44-year-old got the most out of the last-start Sale Cup winner, Gold Fields, to score a narrow short half head victory in the Group Three Sandown Stakes.
The victory brought up Baster’s 1,256th winner and topped off what has been a remarkable career in the saddle.
“I was a bit overwhelmed early,” the 14-time Group One winning jockey said.
“I’m going to miss all the jockeys in the rooms, and I’ll miss the horses, but it’s been a great career and what a way to finish with Logan McGill and the team. I love racing and I’ll always be coming back to watch and be a part of it in some way.”
The established Melbourne rider for the powerhouse partnership of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, will now be making his mark on the Mornington Peninsula as he gets set to join McEwing & Partners Real Estate in Mornington.
Baster said he’s excited to be applying his competitive personality in the property industry.
“I’m looking forward to starting my new career down there (on the Peninsula) in Real Estate for McEwing and Partners on Monday so it’ll be a quiet night and getting ready for Monday,” he said following his final win.
Baster brings with him some amazing memories from the racing industry, including taking out the 1993 Oakleigh Plate aboard the Mark Riley-trained Mookta as an apprentice, but these were the three standouts for him over his career.
“Mookta winning any of his Group 1s because I was claiming three (kilograms),” he said.
“Awesome Rock after losing the Australian Cup on protest and then coming out and winning the Mackinnon was massive and then Pinot winning the Oaks was huge.
“And finishing off like this is amazing – just amazing!”