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Epsom to pay tribute to Lester Piggott

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The Epsom Derby is said to pay tribute to legendary jockey Lester Piggott who passed away on Sunday aged 86. Photo: PA/Reuters

The Epsom Derby is said to pay tribute to legendary jockey Lester Piggott who passed away on Sunday aged 86. Photo: PA/Reuters

Lester Piggott

Lester Piggott

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The Epsom Derby is said to pay tribute to legendary jockey Lester Piggott who passed away on Sunday aged 86. Photo: PA/Reuters

The Epsom Derby will be run in memory of Lester Piggott this weekend after Jockey Club officials made the unprecedented move to honour the legendary jockey’s passing.

Piggott, who died on Sunday aged 86, is synonymous with the Derby, having landed it an astonishing nine times, and race organisers feel the decision to rename Saturday’s premier Classic will be a “fitting tribute” to his greatness in the saddle.

“No jockey is more synonymous with our most famous race than Lester Piggott. Running the Derby in his memory, which we believe has not been done in the 242 previous editions, is a fitting tribute,” Jockey Club official Phil White said.

“Lester is one of the greatest jockeys of the modern era and record-holder of the most wins by a rider. We hope taking the unprecedented step of renaming the Derby shows the high esteem in which Lester is held.”

Jockeys will wear black armbands across Friday and Saturday with a minute’s silence to be held on both days of the Derby meeting as the racing icon is remembered for his truly extraordinary career.

Meanwhile, Classic-winning jockey Micky Fenton is primed to commence the next chapter of his career in racing when taking out a Flat trainer’s licence from his new Cork base.

Fenton partnered the Pam Sly-trained Speciosa to a famous English 1,000 Guineas triumph 16-years ago before the Limerick native, who was based in the UK for the bulk of his career, hung up his saddle in 2013.

Joining the training ranks has always been his lifetime ambition and the 50-year-old looks set to achieve that having relocated to Cork with his family in 2019 before developing a training facility called Butterfly Farm Stables, which currently houses 10 boxes.

Another set for a big change is Martyn Meade, with the Manton trainer intending to operate under a joint licence with his son Freddie from this weekend onwards.

Freddie has been his father’s assistant since 2014 – they continue to go from strength-to-strength with space for 100 horses at their Manton Park base – and the duo’s first runner as a tandem will be Technique in Saturday’s Group Three Princess Elizabeth Stakes on Derby Day.

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“Training has always been the ultimate goal,” Freddie Meade said.


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