‘Everyone’s hero’: tributes pour in for racing legend Lester Piggott

  • Greatest jockey of postwar era dies in Switzerland aged 86
  • ‘We always tried to aspire to be like him and none of us could’

Willie Carson, Britain’s champion jockey five times in the 1970s and 80s, led tributes to Lester Piggott after his death in Switzerland was announced on Sunday, describing him as “a person who made us all better, because we had to be better to beat him. We had to up our game to compete with him, because he was so magical on top of a horse.”

Recalling the two riders’ many “ding-dongs” on the track, including a closely-fought finish to the 1977 Derby in which Piggott, on The Minstrel, edged out Carson’s mount Hot Grove, Carson added: “He was confident. He had the confidence, because he didn’t care about others, where normal people worry about doing the wrong thing. That man, for some reason, never seemed to be under any pressure.”

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