Former legendary jockey Lester Piggott knows a thing or two about winning big races.
During his glittering career spanning 35 years Piggott numbered nine wins in the prestigious Epsom Derby among 30 Classic victories in England and a record 112 Royal Ascot winners.
Piggott is in Melbourne for Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, a race he never had the chance to ride in.
“A lot has changed in racing since I was riding,” Piggott said.
“I was asked to come out and ride in the Melbourne Cup but couldn’t make it.”
Piggott did ride in Australia during the 1990s when he had a stint with Domeland, with his best win the 1995 Group Two Black Opal Stakes on Zadok.
He rated Sir Ivor, his 1968 Epsom Derby winner, as the best horse he rode.
“Not everyone would agree with me and he did get beaten a few times, but he was a great horse,” Piggott said.
Regarded by many as the best ever, Piggott says there are still many good jockeys riding and Australia will get to see one on Tuesday.
Frankie Dettori rides Melbourne Cup favourite Almandin for Lloyd Williams and Piggott says he will give the horse a good ride.
“In England we still have a lot of good jockeys and a blind man can see Ryan Moore is a good rider,” Piggott said.
“But Frankie has still got it.”
Asked if he should give Dettori a few pointers before the Melbourne Cup, Piggott replied: “Frankie might give me a few”.
While Dettori is riding the $7 Cup favourite, Piggott thinks Tiberian, a $17 chance to be ridden by champion French jockey Olivier Peslier, is the one to beat.
“He’s a nice horse and moving well,” Piggott said.