Lester Piggott, considered by many to be the greatest Flat jockey of all time, passed away at dawn on Sunday. He is 86 years old.
A legendary figure and 11-time champion racer, Piggott was a nine-time Derby champion, riding his horse to victory for the first time at the age of 12, in 1948. He retired with 4,493 victories to his name. .
Born in Oxfordshire in 1935 to a family with centuries of racing history, Piggott’s equestrian career spanned more than four decades. During that time, he won 30 British Classics, with numerous international successes, including three victories at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
He initially retired from racing in 1985 and trained for a while from Eve Lodge Stables in Newmarket before making a fun comeback in 1990. Ten days after resuming, he won the Breeders’ Cup. Mile at the Royal Academy for Vincent O’ Brien, with whom he had a long and very successful relationship.
Piggott was recently hospitalized in Switzerland, where he lived for a number of years.
This story is being updated.