'Sad day' | 

Tracy Piggott pays tribute to father Lester saying: 'I will miss you so much’

Writing on her Instagram page, Tracy said: “It’s a sad, sad day. Daddy, I will miss you so much.”

(FILE PHOTO) According to reports on May 29, 2022 legendary English jockey Lester Piggott has died aged 86. 22 Oct 2000: Lester Piggott takes the former top steeple chaser Desert Orchid round the parade ring at Wincanton prior to the days racing. Mandatory Credit: Julian Herbert/ALLSPORT

Melanie Finn

Tracy Piggott, the daughter of the late horse-racing legend Lester Piggott, has said it’s a “sad day” in the wake of his passing.

The record-breaking jockey, who famously rode Shergar to a Derby victory in 1981, died in Switzerland in the early hours of Sunday morning. He was 86 years old.

Writing on her Instagram page, Tracy said: “It’s a sad, sad day. Daddy, I will miss you so much.”

He was in Ireland with her late last year after coming over to join in her wedding celebrations, alongside her mother Susan.

She accompanied the post with a picture of her legendary father, who began his racing career when he was just 12 years old and was considered one of the greatest flat jockeys of all time.

Just last month saw the former RTÉ racing correspondent and her daughter Tia unveiling a statue of Lester at the Guineas Festival at the Curragh, where he had previously clocked up five Derby victories.

Tributes have been pouring in for him from racing luminaries since the news of his death emerged early this morning.

He won 30 British Classic races in a career which yielded 4,493 winners alongside 116 Royal Ascot victories. He was named champion jockey 11 times between 1960 and 1982.

His daughter Maureen is married to the Derby-winning trainer William Haggas, who confirmed the news of his death this morning. Piggott also has a son named Jamie.

“Sadly we can confirm that Lester died peacefully in Switzerland this morning. I really don’t wish to add much more than that at this stage, although Maureen will be making a statement later,” said Haggas.

Speaking last week about his failing health, after he was admitted to a Swiss hospital, his daughter Maureen spoke about how Lester “is a legend, but sadly not immortal.”

“Lester is 86 and he has given his body a beating since he was 12 years old,” she said.

Born in Oxfordshire in 1935 to a racing family, Piggott's riding career spanned more four decades. In addition to having huge wins at Irish and British race meetings, he also had much international successes including three wins in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Piggott had his best season numerically in 1966 with an unbelievable 191 winners. He rode his 4,000th winner through Sparkling Sin at Nottingham on July 26 1982.

He claimed his final win with Palacegate Jack at Liverpool in 1994, a few weeks short of his 59th birthday. He retired for a final time in 1995.

He was nicknamed ‘The Long Fellow’, given that he was relatively tall for a jockey, standing over 5’7” tall and partnered over 5,000 winners worldwide.

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