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Lester Piggott RIP

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  • #1599692
    Cork All Star
    • Total Posts 3624

    “There ought to be a pre-recorded tribute broadcast to Piggott on terrestrial TV on air this very day.

    But there won’t be.”

    As a few people have written or remarked today, Lester was the first jockey of the television age. In his heyday, there were only 3 channels and racing was shown on them every Saturday and often during mid-week. Racing was also about the only sport you could have a bet on.

    The sport had a much higher profile and Lester Piggott was its biggest star. He was a genuinely national figure.

    Now racing has a far lower profile and the BBC is at best indifferent and at worst actively hostile to the sport. I expect a lot of people working in the BBC Newsroom have never heard of Piggott or only have a very vague idea about him. He is not someone they would even consider newsworthy.

    A sad sign of the times perhaps but racing is just not part of the national conversation any more.

    Ex RubyLight
    • Total Posts 2490

    Very sad news, but thanks to social media we’re able to bring back the past.
    Already had the chance to savour a few of his greatest rides, including that hands n’heels win on Alleged in the 1977 Arc.

    A great racing personality and always a pleasure to read or watch his interviews.

    May he rest in peace

    • Total Posts 1722

    A true icon of the sport and to coin a American phrase, the GOAT.

    I expect ITV to have something half way decent put together in tribute come Epsom weekend and whilst 86 was a good innings it is still desperately sad especially given the upbeat message we had received (seemingly mere hours ago) about him likely to be released early next week.

    RIP long fellow and thank you for all those magical memories – which fortunately the vast majority will (fingers crossed) be archived somewhere in the respective BBC/ITV/CH4 tv vaults.

    • Total Posts 164

    He will forever be one of the greatest athletes in the world of horse racing. A true icon of the sport, in every sense of the word…

    Deepest condolences to family and loved ones. RIP, Lester…

    • Total Posts 1911

    “I expect ITV to have something half way decent put together in tribute come Epsom weekend”
    I’m sure you’re right. No doubt Brough Scott will feature heavily as he always has good stories about his encounters with Lester.

    The BBC will have a prepared obit somewhere in the archive. Whether they’ll show it remains to be seen. The schedule seems to be packed with Jubilee nonsense this week and they are notoriously hostile to racing. I wouldn’t put it past them to broadcast during the Derby itself. Not as if there isn’t plenty of material for a tribute with appeal beyond a racing audience though :

    • Total Posts 1722

    Some good stuff on RP especially the story by Sir Mark Prescott and this comments sums him up

    Darrel McHargue responded to being jocked off 1984 St Leger favourite Commanche Run by saying he would be playing tennis on the day of the race. Come that day, the heavens opened. When Piggott was asked whether the rains would affect Commanche Run’s chance, he replied: “No, but it will ruin McHargue’s tennis.”

    • Total Posts 1354

    Rip Lester Piggott

    VF x

    • Total Posts 3159


    Apparently if John Francome had been unavailable to ride Sea Pigeon when he won the Champion Hurdle, the ride would have been Lester’s.

    When El Gran Senor just got touched off by Secreto in The Derby, Lester passed Vincent in the unsaddling enclosure and said something like “Are you missing me?”
    I thought Eddery did little wrong on the horse (apart from not winning) but would Lester have won on him? Quite likely imo.

    This Derby is one of my favourites when the jockey did make the difference between victory and defeat. Two maestro’s in the same Derby. Lester and the commentator.

    • Total Posts 660

    I recall Lester winning the Chester Cup on John Cherry off top weight. Julian Wilson asked him if he could be a Gold Cup horse.
    “Er, no.”
    “Why’s that Lester” ?
    “He’s a gelding”.

    Over and out.

    • Total Posts 5638
    • Total Posts 2439

    Best story

    A jorno had a young chap working for him and he wanted to say hello to pigott. Journo said. Just go and introduce yourself

    “Hi im xxxxx! Pleased to meet you Lester”

    Peered over his shoulder at the journo and said

    “Who’s this ****”


    But one thing I did always notice was that he was the one jockey his peers were in awe of. Rip

    • Total Posts 3159

    Good montage Drone.

    I see 100/1 was the winning price on his prison sentence. Wonder if they paid out.

    • Total Posts 4711

    “Quite likely imo.”

    Not only would Piggott have won on El Gran Senor, he would also have won on Dancing Brave.

    Anyone who doubts this should watch him on Sir Ivor.

    Piggott was a leading exponent of the art of not getting there too soon (Pat Eddery), but he always ensured he didn’t get there too late (Greville Starkey) either.

    But to rather sadly borrow a line from Laurie Lee in “Cider With Rosie” – “They are all of them dead now, anyway.”

    Sir Cherryade of Hampshire
    ("Chezza" to the proletariat)

    Cork All Star
    • Total Posts 3624

    I see from John Randall’s statistics of Piggott’s career that he once won a race putting up 14lbs overweight.

    Nice work by the trainer getting that horse so well handicapped!

    • Total Posts 13733

    We all knew it was inevitable with news that he was receiving treatment in Switzerland but the sad reality that he has passed hits hard.

    No more to say than what has already been so well said by everyone but such a shame that he never got the Knighthood that he so deserved and that his OBE was never reinstated.

    I remember taking numerous half days off work to rush home and watch the mid week racing on TV to watch him ride he never let you down as soon as you heard the commentator say Lester Piggot is making his run he would take up the lead and it was all over.
    Lester Piggott RIP and thank you :rose:

    Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out...
    • Total Posts 10310

    Truly a complete one-off from boyhood to near enough pensioner. I didn’t
    realise until today that he rode his 1st winner at 12 but was aware he was
    still riding winners at 60. He was a genius in the saddle and I’ve no doubt
    we won’t see his likes again. Legend and sadly missed :rose:

    • Total Posts 743

    Piggott was right up there with Archer for me.

    They both possessed the instinct and knowledge of the form book to get on the best horses, supreme skills in the saddle to exploit that, and a ferocious will to win.

    RIP Lester Piggott – the defining rider of my lifetime.

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