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

In search of the truth...


Barney McGrew : Ex Racehorse enjoying retirement

Morning all, hope you're having a nice relaxing Sunday.

It's Barney McGrew here again, possibly the most talented racehorse to ever walk the earth. Well, you’ve never seen a blog written by Frankel or Enable, have you?

And, on the subject of writing, I thought I’d kick off this week’s blog update with a bit of an English Literature lesson.

As you may have seen, one of our young ‘uns, called Alethiometer, owned by the nice Dave Stone human, won her first race at Thirsk last Monday.

You may not be aware of where the name comes from, so I’ll tell you…

An alethiometer is a mystical compass-like device that features in the series of books by Philip Pullman, called His Dark Materials. It was introduced in the first instalment, Northern Lights (re-named The Golden Compass in America) and it continued to appear in The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

Apparently, the alethiometer was invented in the 17th century by a theologian, called Pavel Khunrath, and is used to connect with magical “dust” to find truthful answers to any question.

Well, I reckon Alethiometer is well named because I said to her the other day: “Hey, Lethy, tell me who’s the most handsome horse you’ve ever seen?

“Oh, you are, Barney,” she replied without a flicker of hesitation.

There you go – a truthful answer.

Then I asked her: “And who’s the most out of tune, annoying whistler you’ve ever heard?”

“That Steve Alderson human,” came the reply.

Bang on!

Anyway, I reckon Philip Pullman is over-rated. I prefer Dick Francis racing thrillers myself, and I’ve read Black Beauty a couple of times too.

Maybe that’s where I should take my writing career next – produce a series of racing novels, based here at Denton Hall. I could call them The Denton Hall Mysteries and start with Murder on the Northern Express. What do you think?

TALKING of Northern Express, it was nice to see my old mate get up on the line to win at Ayr on Thursday. I wasn’t sure he was going to get there but the Paul Mulrennan human judged it to perfection. Well done Northy – I’m proud of you.

I WAS especially pleased with our next winner – Gale Force Maya at Pontefract. She’s such a game, consistent filly, so it was richly deserved.

By the way, Galey was ridden by the Graham Lee human. He won the 2004 Grand National on Amberleigh House, trained by the Ginger McCain human, who looked after Red Rum. Fancy that, eh?

OK, onto the bit you’ve all been waiting for – this week’s joke…

THE Carole human was trying on a pricey new outfit for the York Festival and said to The Gaffer: “How do I look?”

“With yer eyes,” he grunted.

See you soon, folks, lots of love as always…

Barney McGrew : Ex Racehorse enjoying retirement