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Newmarket horse racing legend Lester Piggott has died, aged 86



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Legendary Newmarket jockey Lester Piggott has died at the age of 86.

The nine-time Derby winner - one of the greatest jockeys in the 20th century - passed away this morning after spending time in hospital in Switzerland.

During his career, spanning almost 50 years, he rode 4,493 winners – and was the Queen's personal favourite jockey.

Lester Piggott has died aged 86. Picture by Richard Marsham.
Lester Piggott has died aged 86. Picture by Richard Marsham.

It was the third highest number of wins in British racing history behind only Sir Gordon Richards and Pat Eddery,

He was crowned champion jockey 11 times and his name became forever-linked with the Derby.

Piggott lived in Rolle on the outskirts of Lake Geneva with his partner Lady Barbara Fitzgerald.

Lester Piggott lifesize statue unveiling in The Parade Ring at the Dubai Future Champions Festival in 2019. Picture by Mark Westley
Lester Piggott lifesize statue unveiling in The Parade Ring at the Dubai Future Champions Festival in 2019. Picture by Mark Westley

He split with his wife Susan, who he had been married to for 52 years.

He has two daughters - Maureen and Tracy.

Piggott was regarded as one of the best Flat riders of all time and was honoured in 2019 with a statue at Epsom unveiled by the Queen.

Across an illustrious career, Piggott recorded a total of nine Derby wins, 11 Gold Cup wins and five in the Champion Stakes.

Piggott often, also inadvertently, found himself in the limelight.

Controversial off the racetrack, he had a complex personal life and was infamously being jailed for tax evasion.

He rode his first winner as a jockey in 1948, aged 12 years old, at Haydock Park, and and then became a Derby winner at Epsom in 1954, aged 18.

His cause of death or reason for his hospital admission has not been revealed.