Lester Piggott statue unveiled at Newmarket
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
A bronze sculpture of legendary jockey Lester Piggott has been unveiled at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile racecourse.
The statue, created by renowned sculptor William Newton, was unveiled prior to racing today on the second day of the Dubai Future Champions Festival.
The day marks the climax of the racecourse's run of autumn fixtures that comprise The Newmarket Gold Season and features the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes, the championship race for two-year-olds won a record 10 times by Piggott.
The champion jockey was joined by Frankie Dettori and a number of special guests at the unveiling ceremony shortly before the first race, and the statue will be based in the parade ring between three sycamore trees.
It is fitting that Piggott should be honoured at Newmarket, given his relationship with the town and his considerable achievements at the Home of Horseracing.
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For much of his riding career, Newmarket was his base and home and he enjoyed unrivalled success on both the Rowley Mile and the July Course, not least in the Dewhurst Stakes itself.
The first of Piggott's 10 Dewhurst victories came in 1956 aboard Crepello and his love affair with the race continued across four decades, with his 10th and final winner being Diesis in 1982.
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The Rowley Mile was the scene of a number of Piggott's career highlights, he was five times the winner of the 2000 Guineas, including his final Classic and unforgettable triumph aboard Rodrigo De Triano in 1992.
The unveiling is the latest in a series after William Newton was commissioned to produce nine life size bronzes to commemorate Piggott's record of nine Derby winners, the last of which was on the Newmarket trained Teenoso in 1983 when riding for the late Geoff Wragg.
Amy Starkey, regional director of The Jockey Club's east region, said: "Lester is a legend and his contribution to the sport is immeasurable, so it is wholly appropriate that he should be honoured in this way at the Home of Horseracing and in what became his home town.
"We are privileged to have been selected as a location for one of William Newton's bronzes and we, along with many thousands of racegoers and all those involved with our wonderful sport, will treasure it for generations to come."