Lester Piggott: champion jockey dies aged 86, career highlights, list of Derby winners, what his family said

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He was crowned champion jockey 11 times and he claimed nine Derby victories

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

He was crowned champion jockey 11 times and he claimed nine Derby victories throughout his long and distinguished career.

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Piggott rode his first winner, The Chase, at Haydock in 1948 when just 12 years of age and his last win came with Palacegate Jack at the same Merseyside track in 1994, a few weeks short of his 59th birthday.

He retired for a final time in 1995.

What has been said?

Piggott in 1963 at Lingfield ParkPiggott in 1963 at Lingfield Park
Piggott in 1963 at Lingfield Park | Getty Images

Piggot’s son-in-law, Derby-winning trainer William Haggas, told the PA news agency: “Sadly we can confirm that Lester died peacefully in Switzerland this morning. I really don’t wish to add much more than that at this stage, although Maureen will be making a statement later.”

Who is Lester Piggott?

Born in Wantage in 1935, Piggott began racing horses when he was 10-years-old and his first win came when he was just 12 years old at Haydock Park.

By the time he was in his teens, he was a racing sensation and rode his first winner to the Derby on Never Say Die in 1954, aged just 18.

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He then went on to win eight more on Crepello in 1957; St Paddy in 1960; Sir Ivor in 1968; Nikinsky in 1970; Roberto in 1972; Empery in 1976; The Minstrel in 1977 and Teenoso in 1983.

Piggott had a solid fanbase after his numerous wins and did much to expand the popularity of horse racing beyond the narrow class-based origins of the sport.

In total, 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 in 1975 for his services to the sport but this was later stripped after he was convicted of tax fraud.

He served 366 days of his three year sentence in prison.

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Lester Piggott illness

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

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

Two years later, Piggott was also in attendance at the Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival.

He was recently admitted to a hospital in Switzerland.

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