Michael Dods : Racehorse Trainer

Barney's Blog

  • 07-Jul-2022: Latest News from Denton Hall Stables the home of Michael Dods Racing
  • 05-Jul-2022: Wor Willie strides to easy success under Paul Mulrennan at Pontefract
  • 01-Jul-2022: Second career win for Alethiometer under Connor Beasley at Doncaster
  • 21-Jun-2022: Proud Archi makes it five course and distance wins at Beverley
  • 10-Jun-2022: York double for the yard as Northern Express defies topweight under Paul Mulrennan
  • 10-Jun-2022: Gale Force Maya makes it her 10th career win at York
  • 09-Jun-2022: Arch Moon bounces back to form with easy win under Connor Beasley at Haydock
  • 08-Jun-2022: Azure Blue impresses under Paul Mulrennan at Hamilton

Weighty matters


Barney McGrew : Ex Racehorse enjoying retirement

Evening all, Barney McGrew here. A long-standing member of the equine elite and the world's only retired racehorse to have his own blog.

I'm on my high horse again - this time over a mythical human known as 'The Handicapper'. No-one ever sees The Handicapper - I don't even know what they look like - but the miserable bugger makes horses carry more weight if they happen to run well.

Take my old mate, Dakota Gold (or Goldy as I like to call him). He didn't win a race last year but then goes and wins at York last week, off an official rating of 98 and carrying 9 stones 4lbs. The result is that he has to run off a mark of 101 and carry 10 stones when he runs in the Sky Bet Sunday Series Handicap back at The Knavesmire tomorrow.

I don't remember that Usain Bolt human having a load of lead shoved down his shorts when he kept winning all those gold medals, do you?

Before I snuff it, it's on my bucket list to see The Handicapper carrying 10 stones up our gallops. That'd teach the bugger.

Anyway, I've been doing some research, and handicapping horses in races started in the 18th century to give each horse a theoretically equal chance of winning in order to attract more betting. The first ever handicap race was won at Ascot in 1790 by a horse called Seagull - what a bloody stupid name that is! I hate seagulls, they often follow Whistling Steve on the tractor and they make a right racket.

Good luck to Goldy tomorrow. If he wins, he'll be the winning-most horse ever at York, with seven victories to his name. Best wishes also to Pendleton (or Pendy as I like to call him) who runs in the same race. Pendy was third behind Goldy last week when he was carrying seven pounds less weight than his stablemate. The Handicapper human has made Pendy two pounds better off tomorrow for being beaten less than a length last week, so I reckon him and Goldy might dead-heat . That'd be nice, wouldn't it?

Whatever happens, Goldy's worth his weight in gold...

THE older I've got, the more I've realised that if you want owt doing properly round here, you might as well do it yourself.

That's why - further to my recent post about The Gaffer and my Carole advertising for new staff - I've decided to launch Barney's Recruitment Agency (B.R.A.G.)

I said at the time that the Dods humans were missing a trick by not making enough of the fact that people who work at Denton Hall get to see a living legend every day - namely me. If they're really lucky, they might even get to muck me out.

Anyway, my new agency is designed to take our recruitment strategy up a level - starting with getting my own job advertisement done. I'll wager that we get a bigger response to my advert than anything else they've tried so far. 

And, if it's successful, I'll be expecting 10% commission in carrots and Polos. 

TALKING of The Gaffer, I don't mean to be disrespectful but I'm getting a bit worried about him. Someone sent a picture last Monday of him doing the Hokey Cokey all on his own at Redcar. I honestly think he might be losing it - Altogether now...You put your right foot in...

I OFTEN see the Whistling Steve human go past my field on the tractor. He does a bloody good job an all, keeping the gallops right, and he stopped for a chat the other day.

He was a bit upset because a friend had called to say his wife had left him for a tractor salesman. Apparently, she sent him a John Deere letter.

I WAS also having a chat with our vet, the Phil Cramp human. He was telling me about his first ever interview when he decided to be a vet.

The owner of the veterinary practice asked him: "Now then, have you ever shoed a horse?"

"No," replied Phil, "but I did once tell a donkey to piss off."

That's me for another week, folks. Send carrots.

Barney McGrew : Ex Racehorse enjoying retirement