London - Lester
Piggott, widely regarded as the greatest ever flat race jockey, has
been discharged from hospital following a two-week stay which saw him
fitted with a pacemaker.
The 83-year-old, who rode 30 British Classic winners including a
record nine Epsom Derbies, has suffered from heart issues in the past.
"Dad has left hospital, which is great news, and the doctors have
been pleased with how his heart has settled down - these things take
time when you're 83," his daughter Maureen Haggas told the Racing Post.
"Needless to say he'll be taking it easy over Christmas and hopefully build his strength back up into the new year."
Known as 'The Long Fellow' - because at 5-foot-8 (1.73 metres) he
was tall for a flat jockey - Piggott racked up 116 victories at the
prestigious Royal Ascot meeting.
He battled to keep his weight down and subsisted on a diet of champagne and cigars and regular visits to the sauna.
Piggott was sentenced to three years in jail in 1987 after being
found guilty of an alleged tax fraud of more than £3 million. With time off for good behaviour he served a year and a
Showing his trademark resilience, he returned to the saddle - after
failing to flourish as a trainer - in 1990 aged 54 and produced one of
the more remarkable sporting comebacks.
Less than a fortnight later he rode Royal Academy to victory in the
Million dollar Breeders' Cup Mile for iconic Irish trainer, the late
Despite serving time many believe he deserved a knighthood - fellow
jockeys such as Gordon Richards and AP McCoy have been ennobled.