As soon as Dan was given the job of feeding his uncle’s injured racehorse at the age of 12, near his home in Terang, Victoria, it was obvious he had found his niche in life.A part-time job after school and weekends strapping for local trainers, John Sadler and Fred Dreaver, enabled Dan to develop his horse skills.
Dan left school and his family as a 15 year old to work for legendary Group 1 trainer, Jim Moloney. After much success, Dan moved to Warrnambool, where he worked and gained crucial experience under the watchful eye of Colin Chandler, a reputable trainer and a master of horse breaking.
Eighteen months later saw Dan reunite with his first boss, John Sadler who is known as one of the best racehorse trainers in Australia. For 16 years, Dan worked as foreman and track rider for Sadler at Colac then Flemington and played a significant role in many Group 1 successes including, Jolly Old Mac (Group 1 Cadbury Australian Guineas, Group 1 Goodwood Handicap), Lady Jakeo (Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes, Group 1 Australia Stakes and Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude), Pressman’s Choice (winner of 14 races including the Group 2 Sandown Classic), Full at Last (Group 2 VRC St Leger), Scandinavia (Group 2 QTC Cup and Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude), Kenvain (Group 1 Oakleigh Plate and Group 2 Stanley Wootton Stakes) and Bohemiath (Group 1 Adelaide Cup, Group 2 VRC St Leger and Group 3 Geelong Cup). Dan left Sadler with an enormous amount of success, experience and knowledge which placed him in good stead for his next assignment.
In August 1998, Dan was offered the role as Adelaide trainer for the Aquanita Racing Group. Inheriting only five horses, Dan jumped at the opportunity and within a month, trained his first winner, Perak Gold at Morphettville. Ten months later he won the Group 3 SAJC Dermody Stakes with She’s Discreet. Word had well and truly got around that the new-kid-on-the-block could train, which saw his stable expand and so too his list of winners.
As a hands-on trainer and one who rides daily trackwork, Dan has the advantage of knowing your horse inside out. Dan is well-known for his attentive and personal communication skills and keeps his team to a limit of 35 to ensure you and your horse receives the best possible attention.