Lester Piggott dies at 86

Legendary jockey and nine-time Epsom Derby winner Lester Piggott has died at the age of 86.

He was reported to be improving in hospital in Switzerland a few days ago, with the hope to return to his home next week, but thins took a turn for the worse last night.

Winner of the Derby a remarkable nine times, Piggott, along with Frankel, in the first draft of inductees into the British Champions Series Hall of Fame last year.

With 4,493 career wins, including nine Epsom Derby victories, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest flat racing jockeys of all time and the originator of a much imitated style. Popularly called “The Long Fellow”, he was known for his competitive personality, keeping himself thirty pounds under his natural weight, and on occasion not sparing the whip on horses such as Roberto in the 1972 Derby. 

The annual jockey awards The Lesters, inaugurated in 1990, are named in his honour.

In 1999, the Racing Post ranked Piggott as second in their list of the Top 50 jockeys of the 20th century, behind Gordon Richards.

In 2021, Piggott was selected for the British Champions Series Hall of Fame, Piggott and Frankel are the first two into the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was created to celebrate the modern history of flat racing in Britain going back to 1970 which was the year Piggott won the Triple Crown aboard Nijinksy.

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