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Epsom planning to honour Lester Piggott at Derby meeting

Sun 29 May 2022

Epsom’s executive are planning to commemorate Lester Piggott at the two-day Cazoo Derby meeting with starts on Friday.

Piggott, one of the most decorated and celebrated jockeys of all time and nine-times winner of the Derby, died peacefully in Switzerland on Sunday morning at the age of 86.

Having held a meeting to discuss how to honour the jockey, Epsom Downs officials will announce their plans over the next 48 hours.

Phil White, the Jockey Club’s London Regional Director, issued a statement which read: “Everyone at Epsom Downs is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Lester Piggott.

“To win nine Derbys and six renewals of the Oaks over a career which spanned five decades is an extraordinary achievement which may never be surpassed.

“As we build up to this year’s race we will ensure that his passing is recognised in an appropriate way over the duration of the two days.

“The Lester Piggott gates at the entrance to Epsom Downs and his statue which overlooks the winning line will always honour one of our sport’s great champions.”

Julie Harrington, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said in a statement: “For generations of British sports fans, Lester Piggott is synonymous with horse racing. From those who enjoyed the occasional flutter to those who followed racing day in, day out, the question of which horse Lester was riding was always key.

“His achievements in the saddle, and the longevity of his career, are remarkable and it was clear when the statues of Lester were unveiled at racecourses across the country recently that there remains a tremendous public affection for one of the greatest riders to have ever lived.

“The thoughts of everybody at the BHA are with Lester’s family and friends on this sad day, as are our thanks for an unforgettable life and contribution to racing.”

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