Donoghue And John Porter: Englands Leading Rider Tells of His First Talk with Trainer.; Played Truant From School to See His Idol at Chester--Arouses Interest of "Great Man" and Wins Hearing., Daily Racing Form, 1923-02-21


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DONOGHUEANDJOHNPORTER Englands Leading Rider Tells of His First Talk with Trainer Played Trnant From School to Sec His Idol Idolat at Chester Arouses Interest of Great GreatMau Mau and Wins Hearing Stephen Donoghue leading English rider had many obstacles to overcome as a boy in order to realize his ambition to become a jockey His efforts and the final success of his attempts to win a hearing from John Porter who was then in his heyday as a trainer are recounted in the following article from his series of reminiscences now run ¬ ning in the London Sunday Express ExpressOne One day when talking matters over with my chum I conceived the idea greatly dar ¬ ing of writing to John Porter to ask him if he wanted any boys in his stables stablesI I was fired with desire too to see the wonderful Tod Sloan who had come to Eng ¬ land the preceding year and during the back end in a few short months had achieved his meteoric rise to fame The newspapers were full of reports of him and his brilliant riding ridingMy My chum helped me with writing a letter and it was sent off offI I hardly slept for nights after for thinking of what the reply might be Nine people out of ten in John Porters position would never have troubled to send an answer at all but in due course a letter came from him himAlas Alas No boys were required in the sta ¬ bles blesDeep Deep dejection on the part of the two plotters plottersDECIDES DECIDES TO YISIT POUTER POUTERHowever However my worst enemy could not accuse me of not being a tryer and after a day or two I plucked up courage again to such an extent indeed that I determined I would go and see the Great Man himself himselfBesides Besides all that I would also see real race ¬ horses I would see the Chester Cup run for forArriving Arriving at this momentous decision meant that I should also play truant again and already I was afraid of my father learning of my previous lapses in this respect My father was an ardent believer in the old maxim Spare the rod and spoil the child and I may say here that he never spared the rod rodI I must be possessed of a singularly tough constitution as I certainly had punishment inflicted on me as a boy that one would think must have killed any ordinary child yet so far as I can remember my worst offense was simply this playing truant in eager search of adventure adventureOn On this particular day I found that a wagonette was leaving a certain point in Warrington at 8 oclock for Chester races but I did not dare leave home before my usual time for going to school about a quar ¬ ter to nine nineFortunately Fortunately for me just as I was leav ¬ ing home I met the messenger of fate in the shape of a boy bearing a note to my father from the head master complaining of my recent absences from school schoolOX OX HIS WAT TO CHESTER CHESTERI I relieved the lad of that note and pur ¬ sued my wicked way rejoicing toward Ches ¬ ter terOf Of course by this time I had missed the wagonette and had to face the effort of making the journey a distance of about twentyone miles on foot So I walked ran begged a lift here and there and eventually got to the famous old race course courseKeen Keen as I was to see the races my great obsession was to see John Porter and to ask him if he really could not do with another jockey I must explain here that I thought stable lads were jockeys any one that rode a race horse was a jockey in my eyes eyesEaton Eaton old stables where John Porter had his horses for the meeting was close to the Roodee and Chester race course courseI I inquired the address of Mr John Por ¬ ters Stables and was directed there and on approaching the place I was thrilled to see a small string of proudly stepping thor ¬ oughbreds mounted by my jockeys walk ¬ ing round the yard preparatory to leaving for the race course courseThe The Great Man whom I recognized at once from his pictures was standing in the midst supervising and carrying a long hunting crop Moreton the able trainer at Lam bourn of the present day stood near him he was John Porters head man and also rode for him as second jockey on occasion occasionI I well remember the envy that filled me as I gazed at the jockeys slimgaitered legs and neatlyshod feet my own feet being encased in stout Lancashire clogs with iron tips my clotlves being torn and dusty dustyACCOSTS ACCOSTS THE CHEAT 3IA V VAlso Also I had lost my cap but scraping up all the courage I possessed I approached the Great Man who looked down in amazement at the tired dusty and forlorn little figure daring to accost him himSomething Something like the following dialogue then took place S D 1 d dae ycr want a jockey sir sirJ J P gripping long Tom threateningly What S D less bravely D d yer want jockey sir sirJ J P shaking the Ipng Tom at wouldbe jockey Ill lay this round you if youre not off quick out of this thisS S D drawing coat cuff across his eyes and moving slowly away I I only wanted to know if ye wanted a jockey sir sirJ J P looking even more grim but wav ¬ ing small culprit back to him Come here Where have you come from fromS S D Warrington sir sirJ J P Where are your parents parentsS S D At home sir sirJ J P How old are you youS S D Fourteen sir sirJ J P What brought you here hereS S D Wanted to see the Chester Cup sir sirJ J P Oh and you want to be a jockey too do you youS S D Yes sir sirJ J P Oh after a moment Well you go back home and tell your father to come and see me tomorrow tomorrowS S D joyfully Yes sir Thank you sir sirExit Exit small adventurer with wild hopes forming vaguely in his mind of a possible future after all as a knight of the pigskin

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