Horse racing legend Piggott hospitalized
Lester Piggott, widely regarded as the greatest-ever flat race jockey, has been admitted to hospital although his family say it is for purely precautionary reasons.
The 83-year-old, who rode 30 British Classic winners including a record nine Epsom Derbies, has suffered from heart issues in the past.
“He’ll be in for a few more days but was taken in as a precautionary measure,” Piggott’s daughter, Maureen Haggas, told the Racing Post after visiting him in hospital.
Known as “The Long Fellow” – because at 1.73 meters he was tall for a flat jockey – the Englishman racked up 116 victories at the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting.
Piggott was sentenced to three years in jail in 1987 after being found guilty of an alleged tax fraud of more than 3 million pounds ($3.8 million).
With time off for good behavior, he served a year and a day.
Showing his trademark resilience, he returned to the saddle – he had not flourished as a trainer – in 1990 aged 54 and produced one of the more remarkable sporting comebacks.
Less than a fortnight later he rode Royal Academy to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile for iconic Irish trainer, the late Vincent O’Brien.