Lester Piggott: Jockey, who was a nine-time Derby winner, dies aged 86

Lester Piggott, one of the greatest jockeys of all time, has died at the age of 86.

He has been crowned Jockey Champion 11 times and has racked up nine derby victories during his long and distinguished career.

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Piggott rode his first winner, The Chase, at Haydock in 1948 when he was just 12 years old and his last win was in 1994 with Palacegate Jack at the same Merseyside circuit, just weeks before his 59th birthday.

In 1995 he finally retired.

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Piggott in 1963 at Lingfield Park

Piggot’s son-in-law, Derby-winning coach William Haggas, told the PA news agency: “Unfortunately we can confirm that Lester passed away peacefully in Switzerland this morning. I really don’t want to add much more at this point, although Maureen will make a statement later.”

Who is Lester Piggott?

Piggott was born in Wantage in 1935 and started racing at the age of 10. He celebrated his first win at Haydock Park when he was just 12 years old.

As a teenager he was a racing sensation and in 1954 at the age of just 18 drove his first winner to the Derby on Never Say Die.

He then won eight more on crepello in 1957; St Paddy in 1960; Sir Ivor in 1968; Nikinsky 1970; Roberto in 1972; Emperor in 1976; The Minstrel in 1977 and Teenoso in 1983.

Piggott had a solid following following his numerous victories and did much to expand horse racing’s popularity beyond the sport’s narrow class-based origins.

Overall, he had nearly 4,500 career wins and won the 200 Guineas five times; 1000 guineas twice; Epsom Derby nine times; Epsom Oaks six times and St. Leger Stakes eight times.

Piggott was awarded an OBE for services to the sport in 1975, but later had it revoked after being convicted of tax fraud.

He served 366 days of his three-year sentence.

Lester-Piggott disease

In 2007, Piggott was admitted to an intensive care unit in Switzerland after suffering from a recurring heart problem.

His wife, Susan Armstrong, said his condition is not life-threatening. He later attended Royal Ascot that same year and the Epsom Derby.

Two years later, Piggott was also present at Gold Cup Day at the Cheltenham Festival.

He was recently admitted to a hospital in Switzerland.

https://www.nationalworld.com/sport/lester-piggott-champion-jockey-died-career-highlights-derby-winners-3706682 Lester Piggott: Jockey, who was a nine-time Derby winner, dies aged 86


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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