‘The modern greats’: Lester Piggott and Frankel inducted into new hall of fame

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  • The legendary champion jockey Lester Piggott and the unbeaten Frankel have become the first two members of a new hall of fame celebrating Flat racing.

    The QIPCO British Champions Series Hall of Fame has been launched to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the series, and will “immortalise the modern greats of the sport”, who have achieved “remarkable things” since 1970.

    “On the basis of their undisputed status and achievements within the sport, Lester Piggott and Frankel are the first two champions to become hall of famers,” said a spokesman for the series.

    Lester, an 11-time champion jockey, enjoyed a career of almost 50 years and rode 4,493 winners including 30 British Classics. The 85-year-old lives in Switzerland and received a specially commissioned medal marking his induction.

    “It is an honour to become the first jockey – and the first person – to be inducted and I am truly delighted to receive this special medal,” said Lester.

    “I feel fortunate to have spent many brilliant years riding such incredible horses and I’m touched to see my story so well preserved through this initiative. The hall of fame is a terrific concept and something that racing has deserved for so many years. Our sport has such an incredible history and I hope that this provides an opportunity for many others to learn about it.”

    Lester added it was “only right” that Frankel is the first horse to be inducted.

    “He did everything so easily and was the best by far during his time. He is the one horse I wish I could have ridden,” he said.

    Frankel is the “highest-rated” racehorse in history; unbeaten in 14 starts and winner of 10 Group One races.

    “Frankel, trained by the late, great Sir Henry Cecil, was simply on a different level and seemed to revel in blitzing his rivals with speed, stamina and an abnormally huge stride pattern,” said the spokesman.

    “His emotional farewell at QIPCO British Champions Day 2012 came in front of The Queen and a sell-out Ascot crowd, with Frankel fending off previous winner Cirrus Des Aigles to win the QIPCO Champion Stakes, securing an official rating of 141 (which is still unbeaten) and signing off a remarkable, unbeaten career.”

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    Tom Queally, Frankel’s jockey, said he was pleased that Frankel’s “unblemished” career had been acknowledged in the hall of fame.

    “I’m especially delighted that he is the first racehorse to be given the accolade. I will always fondly remember the moments I spent with him,” he said.

    The next inductions will take place ahead of the QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on 15 October, where Lester and connections of Frankel will attend as guests of honour.

    • Do you support this new hall of fame? Who would you think deserves to join Lester and Frankel? Let us know your views on this, and any other burning topics you’d like to share with us, by writing to hhletters@futurenet.com, including your name and nearest town, for the chance for your comments to feature on the letters page in a future issue of H&H magazine

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