The Paul Nicholls-trained gelding beat stable companion Kauto Star in one of the most highly anticipated Cheltenham Gold Cups in history in 2008 and was then runner-up to his great rival 12 months later.
He was also second in the following two runnings of the blue riband event before being retired late in 2011 after suffering a tendon injury.
The 13-year-old had been enjoying his retirement at Charlotte Alexander's yard near Cheltenham, where he has been a team chaser and hunter, until being struck down by illness earlier this year.
While Barber admits it was "touch and go" for the horse affectionately known as 'Tank' during his racing days, he now hopes his pride and joy is over the worst. "He's not been particularly well and I've had him in Newmarket Veterinary Centre for five months," said Barber. "He's now come back to Charlotte, I saw him the other day and he is making headway.
"He's got a horrible piece of swelling round his back fetlock joint, which is going down every week Charlotte tells me. I can only pray and hope that he'll make a full recovery.
"On a hind fetlock joint he got an infection in the bone. Once we'd cured that problem, he then had a problem with his blood. That took him another couple of months to get over. I can only hope for everybody that loves Denman he'll make it through."
Cheltenham Gold Cup fifth, Cape Tribulation, meanwhile, is another top-class chaser set to make his reappearance in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on November 2.
With dual King George VI Chase winner Long Run under consideration for the race and December Gold Cup scorer Unioniste reportedly due to represent Paul Nicholls, the race is shaping up to be a big early-season pointer.
Cape Tribulation ran in the John Smith's Hurdle on the same card 12 months ago but was well beaten behind Tidal Bay before returning to Wetherby to win the Rowland Meyrick on Boxing Day.
Trainer Malcolm Jefferson then sent him to Cheltenham for the Argento Chase where he broke the heart of Imperial Commander before his fine performance in the Gold Cup.
"He'll start off in the Charlie Hall in a few weeks," said Jefferson. "He looks well and is in very good order. The ground should be bang on for everyone after this rain.
"After Wetherby, he'll get an entry in the Hennessy. He might be near top weight and while I'm not a fan of running horses in handicaps with top weight, there might be something rated 167 or 168 that could run."