Just days after Lester Piggott celebrated his 80th birthday, one of his greatest rivals, Pat Eddery, passed away at the untimely age of 63.
If Piggott became the greatest jockey, then it was in no small measure due to the competition in the 1970s and 80s between himself, Pat Eddery, Willie Carson and latterly Steve Cauthen.
In 1972, when Piggott was winning his sixth Epsom Derby on Roberto, the young Pat finished third on Pentland Firth. From then on, his rise to the top of the jockeys’ tree was meteoric. In 1974, he won the first of his eleven British flat race jockeys’ championship and rode some of the greatest ever thoroughbreds to victory in the world’s big races. Perhaps his finest hour was on the wonderful Dancing Brave in the 1986 Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
In The Wattmeister’s opinion, Pat’s strongest quality as a jockey was that whether he was riding at Royal Ascot or Ripon, he always rode to win….and boy was he hard to beat.
Thanks for all the good memories, much of The Wattmeister’s formative years were spent on the racecourses of Southern England witnessing Pat Eddery’s strength and prowess on a day to day basis. Another boyhood idol has passed on never to be forgotten.