This weekend’s Derby to be run in memory of Lester Piggott

In what is believed to be an unprecedented move, this year’s Derby will be run in memory of Lester Piggott, who died on Sunday at the age of 86.

The legendary jockey, who won the premier Classic an astonishing nine times, had a special affinity with the race.

Jockeys will wear black armbands across both days of the meeting, while there will also be a minute’s applause at 1.15pm on Friday when a wreath in the colours of 1970 winner Nijinsky will be laid to rest at Piggott’s statue on the Queen Elizabeth II Stand lawn.

There will be a further minute’s applause at around 4pm on Saturday before the Cazoo Derby (In Memory of Lester Piggott) is run at 4:30pm.

Phil White, London regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “No jockey is more synonymous with our most famous race than Lester Piggott.

“Running the Cazoo Derby in his memory, which we believe has not been done in the 242 previous editions of the race, is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest jockeys of the modern era and the record-holder for most wins by a rider.

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“We want to give racegoers on both days the opportunity to pay their respects and celebrate the life and career of this extraordinary sportsman, and we hope that taking the unprecedented step of renaming the Derby shows the high esteem in which Lester is held.”

He added: “I would like to thank our sponsors Cazoo for accommodating this request and we hope Friday and Saturday will allow for a fitting tribute to one of the icons of our sport.”

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