Epsom rename race in honour of Lester Piggott with Frankie Dettori leading the Derby day tribute | The Sun

Frankie Dettori has said he's 'honoured' after Epsom asked him to lay a wreath at his hero Lester Piggott's statue on Derby day.

Epsom have also announced that they will be permanently naming a race in Piggott's memory.

Piggott, who died last year aged 86, won the Derby a record nine times.

The most famous of his victories came aboard Nijinsky in 1970, who went on to win the Flat triple crown with his St Leger success.

Piggott first won the race on Never Say Die in 1954 and gained his other successes on St. Paddy (1960), Sir Ivor (1968), Roberto (1972), Empery (1976), The Minstrel (1977) and Teenoso (1983).

Each year, a floral wreath in the colours of Nijinsky will be laid by a current member of the weighing room, with Dettori chosen as the first to do so.

The laying of the wreath will be followed by a minute’s applause in the great jockey’s memory.

The £75,000 ten-furlong handicap on Derby Day has been permanently renamed the Lester Piggott Handicap Stakes.

Dettori, who was left 'gobsmacked' after Epsom unveiled a giant mural of him at the course last month, will be riding in his final Derby after announcing his retirement earlier this year.

Dettori said: "It is an honour to be asked to lay a wreath at Lester’s statue on Derby Day.

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"He was a hero of mine who then became a good friend and it’s impossible to measure the impact he had on me both as a person and a jockey throughout my life.

“I’m sure it will be a poignant and emotional moment for many reasons and I’m grateful to Epsom Downs for inviting me to lead this year’s tributes to Lester on my last Derby Day as a jockey.”

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