One in a series of articles checking out the careers of Warrington's sporting legends, who take a much deserved place in our Hall of Heroes

WARRINGTON boasts arguably the greatest flat track jockey of all time.

Steve Donoghue won 14 classics between 1915 and 1937, becoming the only jockey ever to win the Triple Crown twice.

Donoghue’s greatest triumphs came in the Epsom Deby, which he won six times, but he is also credited with jockeying ‘the fastest horse ever ridden’ on two-year-old The Tetrarch in 1913.

Born in Warrington in 1884, the son of a steel worker with no ties to horses, Donoghue decided he wanted to pursue racing after riding a donkey at a circus when aged 12.

The 10-time champion jockey did not race in England until 1911 when he joined Henry Persse’s stable at Stockbridge, Hampshire.

Prior to that, a 14-year-old Donoghue became an apprentice for John Porter at Chester and in 1904, having also ridden in Ireland, rode what would prove his first winner in France.

It was upon his return to England that Donoghue came into his own, dominating the sport for nearly two decades and becoming a champion jockey for nine successive years between 1914 and 1922, before sharing the title with EC Elliott in 1923.

In 1913 he rode The Tetrarch and two years later Donoghue clinched his first English Triple Crown on Pommern, shortly followed by another on Gay Crusader in 1917.

The English Triple Crown traditionally consists of the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Derby and the St Leger Stakes.

However, some critics fail to realise the three winners, the other being Gainsborough, of the Crown during World War One as true victors due to the hostilities in Europe meaning all three races were run at Newmarket.

But it was still some feat by Donoghue, who averaged 95 wins per season during this period, the most being 141 in 1921, as well as many close calls in the classics where he came in second or third.

And it was not as if Donoghue had failed to master Epsom either, people would joke he rode it so well he had his left leg hooked over the rails on the course's Tattenham Corner.

The highlight of his six Derby wins at Epsom came with three successive victories in 1921, on Humorist, 1922, on Captain Cuttle, and in 1923, on Papyrus.

One of Donoghue’s most famous rides was Brown Jack, who he rode to six consecutive wins in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot between 1929 and 1934.

However mounting debts in his private life, not least from the generosity he showed stable owner Lady Torrington, who committed suicide in 1931, coincided with a decrease in success for Donoghue.

Despite this, by the end of 1935 the 47-year-old had ridden several long-priced winners for Colette Glorney.

Two years later, in his retirement year, the Warrington-born jockey bowed out in impressive style with wins on Exhibitionist in the 1,000 Guineas and The Oaks at Epsom.

World War Two hindered Donoghue's success as a trainer and in 1945 one of the country’s favourite sporting greats died of a heart attack, aged 60.

He was buried on‭ ‬March‭ ‬29 ‬in Warrington Cemetery.

A charitable memorial fund was set up in Donoghue’s name and a memorial stone erected.‭ In 1958, Sir Gordon Richards unveiled the Steve Donoghue Memorial Gates at Epsom, one of the jockey's most successful tracks.

Watch Steve Donoghue win The Derby on Papyrus in 1923.

Watch the opening of the Steve Donoghue Gates at Epsom Racecourse in 1958

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