Wednesday 2nd June, 2020
Having completed the seven horses of ‘My Racing Life’ and having left out many favourites in the process including Frankel, it’s now time to choose my favourite trainer and jockey.
This was a very easy decision. Since childhood, Lester Piggott was my sporting hero. Surely the greatest sportsman of all time, as not only was he at the top of his profession for five decades he also went without any food in the process.
His natural talent, finesse and strength made him dominate the racing world. Lester’s extraordinary big race record ensured he was a household name. He was the Royal household’s choice along with the housewife’s choice. His character and skill captivated the nation and we will never see his like again.
Equally when it comes to racehorse trainers, there has only been on genius. Vincent O’Brien trained Cheltenham winners, Derby winners and many more of the highest level.
His feel, perception, intelligence, attention to detail and vision made him an icon of his profession. He trained every horse to it’s peak and many of his winners are household names whether they be sprinters, stayers, hurdlers or chasers.
Six Derby winners, three Grand National winners in succession, a champion trainer in Britain on the flat and National Hunt racing, it is no wonder he was voted the ‘greatest influence in racing history’ in a Racing Post poll.
Recognising the influence of Northern Dancer, he changed the breeding of horses worldwide.
There have been many great trainers but none as great as the master of Ballydoyle.