DANCINGINTHEWOODS left Amy Murphy’s Southgate Stables today to begin a new life outside of racing with the lad who first rode him as a 2yo back in 2019, Luke Bacon.
The 6yo gelding, son of Garswood, owned by a small syndicate, Solario Racing (Berkhamsted) is going to Luke’s livery yard just outside Lambourn, which he runs with his partner, Alex.
Both Luke and Alex used to work as riders at Dean Ivory’s Radlett Stables and it was Luke, who not only looked after him and rode him work but also rode him in his Barrier Trial at Lingfield, a month before he made his debut at Newmarket on the Rowley Mile on 16 May 2019 and won at 50/1!
And yes, the syndicate did back him!
He was a 15,000gns purchase as a yearling by Group One winner, Garswood, which I bought at Tattersalls Book 3 Sale in 2018 and he gave the syndicate so many great days out. After winning on his debut, he was 4th to the great Pinatubo at Epsom in the Woodcote and then was 2nd at York to Thunderous, who was a subsequent Group Two Dante winner.
As a 4yo, he went on to win at Leicester under Hollie Doyle and Newmarket (July Course) under Joe Fanning and after switching stables in July last year, he won his fourth race at his first attempt on the all-weather with a win under Frederick Larson at Kempton for Amy Murphy.
“Woody” raced 35 times, won 4 and won prize money in 24 of his races, a strike rate of 69%.
The stats of course don’t tell the whole story. He took the syndicate to so many great tracks and gave us all so many wonderful days.
It is so fitting that he goes back to Luke Bacon, who loved him as a racehorse and whatever “Woody” does – drag hunting, team chasing, showing, eventing…a bit like the equine prodigal son, he’s returned home.
I went up to say farewell to “Woody” and give him a few polos. Everybody in racing wants the best for the horses when they leave. However, it’s best not to be sentimental but I surprised myself as there was just a bit of a lump in my throat as I said “Goodbye.”
Thank you “Woody” and good luck in your new life!