Denis O’Regan, from Cork, Ireland quickly established himself as one of the top Irish jump jockeys in recent seasons. He first dipped his toe into the horse racing world when his father bought him a pony while he was still in primary school and that initial riding experience aroused an interest in horses and he soon found himself spending more and more time at the yard owned by his cousin, John Crowley.
When he was 16, O’Regan spent a summer with Francis Flood and it was during this time that he was well and truly bitten by the racing bug. On All Honey, he tasted success for the first time, in Listowel in 2001. He had five wins his first season and seven in his second. It was in late 2004 that O’Regan left the Francis Flood yard to take up a role with the leading National Hunt trainer, Noel Meade.
One of the biggest wins of O’Regan’s career at that stage came on the Dermot Weld-trained Ansar in the Galway Plate in 2005. During the race, O’Regan gave his mount an admirably no nonsense ride, going the shortest route on the inner before hitting the front at the final fence and quickening away to win by an impressive seven length margin.
O’Regan achieved a notable milestone in late October 2006 when he rode his first treble at Wexford. Two of his winner’s were trained by Noel Meade, Hard Scuffle and Irish Nation, with the Philip Rothwell-trained Mission Possible completing a memorable day for O’Regan. He finished the season with a best-ever total of 56 winners in Ireland and it was then announced that he was to take over from Paddy Brennan as the stable jockey to the Durham-based trainer Howard Johnson.
The 2009/10 campaign was a solid, one for O’Regan. While he failed to ride a big-race winner in Britain, his tally of 66 winners was more than respectable. This season has been another solid campaign for O’Regan, with him riding winners for a wide variety of trainers.
The 2012 Grand National was the sixth for Denis O’Regan and the third on board Black Apalachi with his best finish coming in 2010 when he finished 2nd on him and he couldn’t do any better in 2012 when he fell at the 8th fence.
For 2013 O’Regan was on board Big Fella Thanks but was one of the first out when he was unseated at the Canal Turn on the first circuit but is back again for the 2014 Crabbies Grand National where he will go off on Our Father for trained David Pipe.