Former champion jockey Lester Piggott, 86, is hospitalised in Switzerland, family reveals
- Former champion jockey Lester Piggott is in hospital in Switzerland
- His daughter, Maureen, is married to Newmarket trainer William Haggas
- Haggas said Maureen would be going over to visit him today
Record-breaking former champion jockey Lester Piggott is in hospital in Switzerland, his family have confirmed.
Winner of the Derby nine times, the 86-year-old was, along with Frankel, in the first draft of inductees into the British Champions Series Hall of Fame last year.
His daughter, Maureen, is married to Newmarket trainer William Haggas, who said Piggott is in a Swiss hospital, but did not reveal the reason behind the visit.
Record-breaking former champion jockey Lester Piggott, pictured in 2019, is in hospital
The Queen and Lester Piggott at Epsom racecourse before the Derby in 1996
Haggas revealed that Piggott is in hospital and Maureen would be going over to visit him today, after the jockey’s son Jamie had visited him yesterday.
‘He’s battling a bit, but he’s a tough man,’ Haggas told Sky Sports Racing yesterday. ‘Hopefully he’ll pull through and get home as soon as possible.’
‘All we can do is train plenty of winners and keep him amused, that’s what we’re trying to do.
‘I don’t think he thinks about what he’s achieved, but he loves the adulation that he gets every time he steps out into a public place.’
Lester Piggott on Hokusai at the start of the Ever Ready Derby at Epsom in June 1991
Lester Piggott on Teenoso after winning the Epsom Derby in 1983
Piggott was admitted to intensive care back in 2007 due to a recurrence of a heart problem, but made a swift recovery.
Piggott moved to Rolle, a Swiss town on the outskirts of Lake Geneva, in 2012 with his partner Lady Barbara FitzGerald after separating from his wife of 52 years, Susan.
The legendary jockey won almost 5,000 races over the course of a 48-year career, including the Oaks six times and the St Leger eight times.
Piggott – who was born in Wantage, Berkshire, in 1935 – won the Epsom Derby for the first time in 1955 and went on to win the race eight more times.
Lester Piggott receives the Ritz Club Trophy from the Queen Mother at Ascot in 1981
Lester Piggott, pictured in 1951, was in the first draft of inductees into the British Champions Series Hall of Fame last year
He and Susan, who have two daughters, Maureen, a former eventer, and Tracy, 46, a sports presenter for RTE in Ireland, had lived together in Newmarket.
On Saturday, Tracy and her daughter Thea unveilved a new statue of her father at the Curragh Racecourse where he won five Derbys and three 2,000 Guineas races.
Speaking to the Racing Post in 2015, Piggott – who was once one of the world’s most famous sportsmen – said: ‘I think a lot of older people still remember me,
‘I’m probably famous to them, but the younger ones wouldn’t really know who I am. Time goes by. A lot of people wouldn’t know me now.’