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The ultimate master of his art – Lester Piggott was probably the best jockey who ever lived

Eamonn Sweeney


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Lester Piggott. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Lester Piggott. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Lester Piggott. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Lester Piggott was probably the best jockey who ever lived. He was certainly the most famous. The man who elevated taciturnity to the level of a fine art caught the public imagination like no-one else in racing.

The fascination with Piggott stemmed not just from his extraordinary talent but from the sense that there was something unique about him. In the words of the great sportswriter Hugh McIlvanney, “When Piggott walked into the paddock before the Derby it was like looking at Marlon Brando on the screen. You couldn’t look at anything else. There was the sense of aloofness, almost an aura of superiority.”


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