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

Gold and silver service


Barney McGrew : Ex Racehorse enjoying retirement

OK, folks, I admit to feeling a little bit threatened this week.

As everyone knows, I’m the true celebrity round here but I can’t deny that Dakota Gold is attracting a lot of adulation after clocking up eight wins in the past two seasons.

On Wednesday, he added The Rous Stakes, at Nottingham, just a few days after bagging the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at York.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Goldy – he’s as good as gold – and he’s now won 12 races in his career.

His jockey, the Connor human, went on telly straight after the race and described him as “every yard’s dream”.

Well, I had a bad dream the other night that the gaffer gave Goldy his own blog – called Goldy’s Gossip – and scrapped Barney’s Blog. I woke up in a cold sweat.

I know the time may come when Goldy has to take over from me but, hopefully, not just yet. If you agree, send letters to the gaffer – and Polos for me.

LIKE a lot of you humans, I love a nice grey. And, no, I’m not talking about the old silver fox, Paul Mulrennan, one of the jockey humans who rides out regularly here at Denton Hall. Lovely fella.

Grey horses are really distinctive and I was dead chuffed to see First Greyed win at Haydock during the week – his second victory of the year. He was ridden by Dakota Gold's regular human, Connor Beasley. That's them passing the winning post below - nice red pair of blinkers too. You couldn't miss them in a finish!

Anyhow, First Greyed’s dad was a grey horse called Gutaifan, who was trained down south by Richard Hannon. He was a really classy two-year-old, winning races like the Flying Childers, the Prix Robin Papin, and the Prix Morny. Sadly, he didn’t run as a three-year-old.

Gutaifan’s dad was a lovely grey horse called Dark Angel (pictured at stud below) who’s a bit of a legend round here. He was trained by Barry Hills and was again a cracking two-year-old, winning the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket and the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury, but also didn’t run as a three-year-old.

And, of course, Dark Angel was the father of an old grey friend of mine, Mecca’s Angel, trained here at Denton Hall to make history by winning back to back runnings of the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York in 2015 and 2016. Look at the way she and her owner, the David Metcalfe human, are grinning in the picture below.

By the way, Dark Angel also sired another of my old stablemates, Easton Angel, who won a coupled of listed races in 2016. She was also grey.

TALKING about Mecca’s Angel reminds me that I have to include a word of encouragement for Mecca’s Hot Steps.

She’s a nice chestnut filly, also owned by the David Metcalfe human. He calls all his horses after his own nickname – a bit self-indulgent, if you ask me, but each to his own.

Anyway, Mecca’s Hot Steps – or Steppy as I call her – is a good friend of mine and she needs a bit of TLC. She was second at Nottingham on Wednesday and that’s the sixth time she’s finished second in her career. In fact, she’s had more seconds than a fat lad at a buffet.

OK, she’s no Mecca’s Angel but she deserves to get her head in front one day. Keep going bonny lass – you’ll Mecca’s all proud one day (see what I did there?)

I CAN’T let the week pass without paying my own tribute to Enable who’s been retired.

What a fantastic mare she’s been. Two Arcs, three King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, the Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks, consecutive Yorkshire Oaks, the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the Eclipse. That’s a CV to rival my own.

Racing needs superstars and it’s credit to her owner, the Royal human, Khaled Abdullah, for keeping her in training so long.

Now she’s off to stud and there’ll be no shortage of suitors – it’ll be like Kylie Minogue stepping into a nightclub after midnight.

Enable's already been asking if I’ll be paying her a visit. Sorry, pet,  I can’t help you in that department – you’ll have to make do with Frankel.

FINALLY, I have to say a big thanks this week to a human called Tony Gadd, pictured below, who really cheered me up after all the talk about this bloody virus.

Tony, who lives up Durham way, is a big fan and he very kindly sent me a packet of Polos. He makes his living as a performing poet, so I thought I’d pen him a little thank you poem. I think it’s rather good…

‘There once was a poet called Gadd,

Who stopped me from feeling quite sad,

He sent me some mints,

So, now I’m convinced,

Good old Tony is not a bad lad’

Anyway folks, that's all from me for another week. Stay safe. Lots of love,

Barney McGrew : Ex Racehorse enjoying retirement