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The greatest before Piggott?

Steven LynchNovember 12, 2013
Lester Piggott, left, with the king of jump racing AP McCoy - Piggott was a master on the flat © PA Photos
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Lester Piggott rode 30 Classic winners, which I know is unsurpassed. But whose record did he beat? asked Alison Pigden

Lester Piggott did indeed ride 30 English Classic winners during his long career: the first was Never Say Die, which won the Derby in 1954, and 38 years later he rode Rodrigo de Triano to victory in the 2000 Guineas in 1992.

In all Piggott won the Derby nine times (a record), the St Leger eight times, the Oaks six times, the 2000 Guineas five times, and the 1000 Guineas twice.

The record Piggott broke stood for more than 150 years: Frank Buckle rode 27 Classic winners, the first in 1797 and the last in 1827, when he was 60. Piggott actually broke Buckle's record in the 1984 St Leger, his 28th Classic victory, on Commanche Run.

Next on the list come Fred Archer (21 Classic winners, in only 12 seasons), Bill Scott (19), Jack Watts (19) and Willie Carson (17).

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