Derby’s Lord of the Reins

Lester Piggott, 30-times champion jockey.

Epsom legend shares his views on modern-day racing and looks back at his illustrious past on the 60th anniversary of his first Derby ride – an interview with Paul Hayward

In the golden age of sports personalities – Muhammad Ali, Pelé – Lester Piggott acquired charisma by turning his face away from noise and celebrity. He had no use for the tumble of words with which others described their activities. His silence was his calling card. The cold glint in his eye thrilled punters and terrified his rivals. All emotion was excised from the business of winning races. At Epsom, nothing before or since has matched the glamour of him sweeping into the home straight and picking off the leaders on the best horse in a Derby.

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