Lester Piggott won his ninth and final Derby on this day (June 1) in 1983.

The 47-year-old triumphed on Teenoso to extend his record in the Epsom showpiece to nine victories from 30 races.

King of the Derby

Piggott remains the undisputed great Derby jockey, finishing with an unmatched record of nine wins and four second places from 36 attempts. He first entered as a 15-year-old and finished second the following year, three-quarters of a length behind the winner. Then at 18, he won his first Derby on Never Say Die in 1954 and rode winners in five out of 10 years from the late 1960s onwards.

Teenoso

Piggott on Teenoso, left, won his seventh King George (PA)
Piggott on Teenoso, left, won his seventh King George (PA)

The American-bred colt had an inauspicious start to racing as a two-year-old in 1982, when he was trained by Newmarket-based Harry Wragg, whose son Geoff took over from his father the following year. The spring of 1983 proved unusually wet and Teenoso was excelling on heavy ground, making him favourite for the Derby. It was the slowest run of the century in the race but a comfortable triumph as Piggott broke away with three furlongs left. Piggott also rode the horse to victory in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in 1984.

End of the Reign

The Queen meets Lester Piggott after unveiling a statue of him in 2019 (PA)
The Queen meets Lester Piggott after unveiling a statue of him in 2019 (PA)

Although Piggott was to race six more times in the Derby, the victory proved to be the end of his reign as master of the race. The 11-time champion jockey retired after the 1985 season to become a trainer before being jailed for tax evasion. He resumed his career as a jockey in 1990 before finally retiring five years later.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here