Michael Dods : Racehorse Trainer

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Dods hopes ground doesn't dry out too much as Dakota Gold aims for York repeat

IN-FORM trainer Michael Dods is hoping the ground at York doesn't dry out too much as star sprinter Dakota Gold aims to emulate last year's win in the listed Garrowby Stakes on Sunday.

The six-year-old gelding relished the soft conditions when winning the Beverley Bullet last time out (see main picture) and Michael is hoping there'll still be cut in the ground at the Knavesmire.

Michael's thoughts on the race are included in the stable's regular Weekend Preview below:

"After an extremely busy Friday, it’s a rare blank Saturday for us with no runners. However, we’ll be busy again on Sunday, with horses heading to York and Musselburgh.

We start up at Musselburgh with FIRST GREYED running in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Auction Stakes (1.50). We thought he raced a bit lazily the last time out at Haydock, so he’s had a gelding operation and this is his first run since that. He seems in good form on the gallops, so hopefully he’ll run a nice race.

Next up, we’ve got DAKOTA GOLD going in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Garrowby Stakes (2.00) at York. He obviously ran a cracker when he won at Beverley, and this was the obvious race for him after that. If the ground stays as it is at the moment for him, we’ll be delighted, although going by the forecast, it’s probably going to dry out a bit. Hopefully, there’s not too much change. It looks a strong race, which you’d expect at Listed level, but he’s going there in good form.

We’re double-handed in the Sky Bet Club Handicap (3.40) at York, with TROUBADOR and ROYAL CONTEXT both running. Troubador was entered at Haydock because we didn’t think we’d get into this race, but the ground wouldn’t have been right for him at Haydock so thankfully we’re in here. We’re claiming five pounds off because the handicapper has murdered him this season. He’s been running from a high mark all season and I think he’s only come down three pounds, so hopefully claiming five pounds off with Danny Redmond will help.

Royal Context is a nice horse who likes soft ground, so again, hopefully things won’t dry out too much and there’ll still be a bit of juice in the surface come Sunday. He won at Haydock over five furlongs on soft ground last time out (see below), but we think the step up to six furlongs here will help him.

Back to Musselburgh, and PEERLESS PERCY goes in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap (4.30). He had a tough race last time out when he finished second on soft ground, but because he ran such a nice race, we thought we’d run him up at Musselburgh again. He’ll be a one mile six or maybe even a two mile horse in time, but he’s only three, so we’re happy to stick with an extended mile and a half for now.

Finally, LANGHOLM runs in the Watch Racing Replays At racingtv.com Handicap (5.00) at Musselburgh. He was disappointing last time out, but he didn’t seem to handle the soft conditions at Catterick. We had him checked out after that run and it seems as though everything is fine, so hopefully he’ll improve. We’re putting a tongue-strap back on him, and an apprentice, Aidan Redpath, is on board having his first ride for us. Hopefully, the pair of them will get on well and he’ll give Aidan a good first ride.