Lester Piggott

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Lester Keith Piggott (born on Guy Fawkes' day 1935) was an English jockey, considered to be the best of his generation and one of the greatest flat jockeys of all time.

Piggott won his first race in 1948, aged 12 years, on a horse called The Chase at Haydock Park. A teenage sensation, he rode his first winner of the Epsom Derby on Never Say Die in 1954 aged 17 years and went on to win eight more, on Crepello (1957), St. Paddy (1960), Sir Ivor (1968), Nijinsky II (1970), Roberto (1972), Empery (1976), The Minstrel (1977) and Teenoso (1983). He was stable jockey to Noel Murless and later to Vincent O'Brien and had a glittering career of unparalleled success. Known as the "housewives favourite", Piggott had legions of followers and did much to expand the popularity of horse racing beyond its narrow, class-based origins.

Famously tall for a jockey (5'8"), Lester Piggott struggled to keep his weight down and for most of his career rode at little more than 8 stone. He pioneered a new style of race-riding that was subsequently widely adopted by colleagues at home and abroad and enabled him to become champion jockey 11 times. He was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire).

After he retired from riding horses, he became a racehorse trainer, with modest, but not spectacular, success. In 1987 he was jailed for tax irregularities and stripped of his OBE, but resumed his career as a jockey in 1990 following his release from jail, winning the Breeders' Cup Mile on Royal Academy within ten days of his return. He retired in 1995.

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