Horse rac­ing leg­end Pig­gott hos­pi­tal­ized

Global Times US Edition - - SPORTS -

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.

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