King’s Song romped home at Ludlow yesterday to make it four wins and a second for trainer David Dennis in recent days.
The dual-purpose handler will be thrilled with the progress made this season. Already on 19 winners over the jumps, just a dozen away from last winter’s total haul; it’s his chasers that are proving prolific. He’s at a strike rate of almost 30% over fences, with Doctor Phoenix a notable flag-bearer on two from three during October and November.
Dennis has only had his dual licence since September 2013 having retired from race riding in 2011. An 11 year career had yielded 240 winners, the highlight being a win on-board Brewster in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury.
His Tyre Hill Racing Stables are located at the foot of the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire just outside the village of Hanley Swan. It’s a terrific base for racing with Cheltenham, Worcester, Stratford and Chepstow all on the doorstep.
The facilities are quite exceptional including three all-weather gallops at three, four and six furlongs. Ultra-modern equipment is available to ensure the horses are at peak condition. An equine swimming pool is a wonderful aid in the rehabilitation after injury or simply as a warm-up, warm-down facility during the training regime. The stables also have a solarium and indoor horse-walker, all vital components of the modern day forward -thinking yard. All this high-tech kit ensures that horses are kept ticking over despite interruptions due to niggling injuries or the great British weather.
Along with improving the facilities at the stables, Dennis has proved himself more than capable at spotting potential in a racehorse. The aforementioned Doctor Phoenix was a winning pointer and has become something of a star for the yard since starting out under rules in 2014. He now has four wins from nine starts and was again in the winners’ enclosure at Haydock last week. He’s a lovely big chaser, as is often the case when the name Anshan appears in the pedigree. He has a bright future over fences.
Unfortunately jumping proved the downfall for another of the yard’s exciting prospects at Haydock last week. Wade Harper was in the process of running a cracker in a fixed brush novice hurdle, when coming down three from home. He’s a full brother to Cole Harden, and this son of Westerner has plenty more to offer over the smaller obstacles. He’ll certainly pay his way over the coming months.
Dennis would also have been excited to welcome Godsmejudge to the yard. The winner of a Scottish National, and still only a nine-year-old, he may be frightfully inconsistent but is clearly hugely talented. He’s slipping down the handicap, and if the trainer can unlock that talent there are still major races to be won. He had a breathing operation during the summer which may well prove the key.
A suitable point to end this piece on David Dennis is with his young novice hurdler Final Nudge. He’s another that looks set to have a hugely profitable winter. Not particularly big, the son of Kayf Tara clearly has a huge engine as he showed when thrashing a Paul Nicholls inmate at Wincanton last time. He ploughed his way through the mud that day and confirmed the promise shown in last season’s bumper campaign.
These are certainly exciting times for a trainer who has quickly developed a favourable reputation.