The Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Saturday (4th June) will be run in memory of the legendary Lester Piggott, who won the world’s most famous Flat race a record nine times as a jockey. It is understood this is the first time The Derby has been run in memory of any individual.
Jockeys will wear black armbands across both days and there will be a minute’s applause at c. 1.15pm on Friday when a wreath in the racing colours of Nijinsky will be laid at the statue of Lester Piggott on The Queen Elizabeth II Stand Lawn. There will be a further minute’s applause at c. 4pm on Saturday before The 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 Derby in his memory, which we believe will be the first time this has been done in 242 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.
“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 re-naming The Derby shows the high esteem in which Lester is held.
“I would like to thank our sponsors for accommodating this request and we hope Friday and Saturday will allow for a fitting tribute to one of the icons of our sport.”