Denis started training from Keeper’s Stables in 1999, renting the yard from Lady Huntingdon following Lord Huntingdon’s retirement that year. Drawing on all his experiences, Denis’ hobby remains his livelihood, extracting every horse’s individual potential.

Amongst his best horses to date have been Steppe Dancer (owned by Chris Van Hoorn, who won at both Group and Listed level) and Percy Jackson (owned by Count Calypso Racing) who finished 2nd in a Listed race in Cologne and later sold to Hong Kong. Denis, from County Cork, was born into racing and rode on the Pony Racing circuit from an early age before progressing through the junior ranks of show jumping to point-to-pointing, riding his first winner at the age of 17. With a hunger to widen his experience, at the age of 20 Denis moved to an Australian stud farm.

It was whilst in Australia that Denis first joined up with Lord Huntingdon at Warwick Farm, Sydney. A year later and a return to the UK saw Denis take the job as Gordon Richard’s conditional jockey, soon loosing his claim and becoming a fully fledged member of the professional ranks. With an urge to travel once again, Denis then moved to the States where he rode as stable jockey for 3 years to Janet Elliot, Champion Jumps trainer and spent time with Neil Drysdale, Champion Flat trainer. In 1988 Denis’ links with Lord Huntingdon came to the fore once again, when he was asked to return to the UK as Lord Huntingdon’s Assistant Trainer. Together they formed a formidable team, firstly in Newmarket and then in West Ilsley when Lord Huntingdon became the Queen’s trainer at West Ilsley Stables. During these years Denis proved to be an integral member of the team responsible for such horses as Indian Queen and Drum Taps.


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