Keith Donoghue Grand National Wins
Keith Donoghue has never won the Grand National.
Their best finish to date was in 2018 with Valseur Lido who came 8th.
|2023||Delta Work||Fence 21 - Unseated Rider||-||Gordon Elliott|
|2018||Valseur Lido||8||£15,000||Henry De Bromhead|
Keith Donoghue is a jockey that will forever be remembered for his connection with one of the Grand National greats. But the uniqueness of this story comes with the fact that he didn’t actually ride that horse in the Grand National. That horse is, of course, Tiger Roll, a horse regularly ridden by Donoghue, including to success on the big stage, but never in the Grand National, for either of his two victories in the race.
Donoghue made his name on the pony racing circuit before moving into horse racing, landing his first winner under rules in 2009, which came on just his fourth start on a horse. That was for trainer Gordon Elliott, the man who put Donoghue and Tiger Roll together and the man who has given the jockey his best successes on the track. On the pony circuit, Donoghue recorded over 150 winners, really standing out alongside some other talented people and fully deserving of his move into horse racing.
When it comes to the Grand National, Donoghue had his first ride in the race in 2018, which was the year in which Tiger Roll won his first National. Donoghue was on board Valseur Lido, trained by Henry de Bromhead, and the pair would complete the course at the first time of asking, finishing a respectable eighth position.
Keith Donoghue, Tiger Roll and Gordon Elliott
The biggest reason why Keith Donoghue is known is thanks to his association with Gordon Elliott, which led to an association with Tiger Roll. Firstly looking at Donoghue and Elliott, it was a winner for Elliott that gave Donoghue his first ever horse win under rules. That came on just his fourth career start, showing since the beginning, Elliott has been a supporter of Donoghue.
Gordon Elliott was again the provider when Donoghue recorded his first win at Grade One level. That came in 2018, winning a Grade One Novice Chase at Limerick on the Elliott-trained Hardline. After a lot of time in the saddle, it was finally a moment at the top for Donoghue, who had spent his career in the Elliott yard, but often picking up the pieces and not getting the top rides that others did.
2018 also saw Donoghue win his first race at the Cheltenham Festival, taking the Cross Country Chase on Tiger Roll, the first big win for the pairing. They would then win the Cross Country for a second time in 2019 before landing the race for a third time in 2021. At the time, Tiger Roll became just the third racehorse to win five or more races at the Cheltenham Festival. Before those three wins under Donoghue in the Cross Country Chase, the horse had won the Triumph Hurdle in 2014 and National Hunt Chase in 2017.
While winning the Grand National twice brought the horse to the hearts of the UK racing public, those Cheltenham Festival wins, mainly the three under Donoghue, were what cemented the horse to become a legend of the sport.