The eight-year-old was undertaking his final piece of work before Saturday’s Epsom Dash when he incurred a fatal injury from which he could not be saved.

Our deepest sympathies go to his owner, Michael Hill, and Daryl Chinn, who rode the horse on a daily basis.

Roger said: “Losing Steps is a real blow. I am gutted for his owner, Michael Hill, and for all of the boys and girls in the yard, for whom he was an old favourite.

“He provided us with many memorable afternoons and he was a horse with real character. We will miss him greatly.”

A dashing grey son of Verglas who often had own ideas about the game, Steps won 10 of his 53 starts, amassing just shy of £220,000 in prize money.

He got off the mark in a Wolverhampton maiden in December 2010 but continued to improve with age. A strongly-run five furlongs on soft ground proved to be his optimum conditions, and he achieved his highest-profile success under those circumstances when landing the Group 3 Dubai International Airport World Trophy at Newbury last autumn.

However, perhaps his sweetest success was in the latest renewal of the Portland Handicap at Doncaster, where he gave weight and a beating to a 20-strong field under Louis Steward.

Steps photographed winning the Listed Rous Stakes at Ascot in 2013