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Young blood welcomed into successful family operation

Robert Dennis (centre)
Robert Dennis (centre)

Robert Dennis is adding his international experience to four wise heads of New Zealand racing.

He has settled into life as the fifth member of a Southland partnership with his father Tony and his uncles Joe, Martin and Ray, who have enjoyed outstanding success for many years on both the breeding and training fronts.

The first winner for the family quintet came at Gore last month with The Gallant Girl, who will be part of a seven-strong team they will have in action at their local meeting on Thursday.

Dennis returned home last year after winning the Sunline Scholarship in 2014 while working at The Oaks Stud in Cambridge.

"I had 10 weeks at Cheveley Park Stud in England and then at Coolmore in Ireland and at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky," he said.

"When I finished at Taylor Made I went back to England and worked for Highclere Stud and did the Tattersalls Sale with them.

"Everywhere you go people do things differently so you are always learning and meeting new people.

"When I got home Dad asked me to join them and I'm really enjoying it – it's long hours, but it doesn't feel like work."

They are currently working 10 horses with four more to come into work later this week and a number of youngsters for the future.

"There are four foals in the paddock and three in the North Island and five yearlings – three of them are by Darci Brahma and one is out of The Jewel," Dennis said.

He tipped The Theme (race seven) as one of their best chances on Thursday.

"She's been pretty consistent all season, she's got a good barrier and she'll get a kilo off with Shaun McKay to ride her," he said. "I quite like her chances." – NZ Racing Desk.