Glorious Goodwood Festival Legends

There are a remarkable few men and a horse which have single-handedly dominated the Glorious Goodwood Festival over the years. They are the legendary jockeys Lester Piggott and Sir Gordon Richards and Double Trigger, a horse which surprised and charmed at Goodwood in 1998.

Lester Piggott

Lester Piggott is a legend in his own lifetime – he has an astonishing 4 493 career wins, including 9 Derby triumphs. His success at Goodwood was phenomenal, riding 117 winners at the five-day Festival Meet alone, and 197 winners overall.

His career spanned over four decades and he retired just 2 months short of his 60th birthday in 1995. The 11-times Champion Jockey claimed his first win at Goodwood way back in 1950 when he urged Vidi Vici on to win the Craven Stakes. His first major win came seven years later when he won the Molecomb Stakes on Abelia, and from then on it was the Piggott show at Goodwood!

In 1974 Piggott rode no fewer than 9 winners in the course of the Festival week! He won the Gordon Stakes four times, the Goodwood Cup and Nassau Stakes five times each, the Molecomb Stakes a total of 8 times and the King George Stakes on 9 occasions.

Sir Gordon Richards (1904 – 1988)

Gordon Richards is another superstar of the track, and it is doubtful that his post war record at Goodwood Racecourse will ever be matched. He holds the British record for total career wins with an incredible 4 870 winners in a career which spanned 33 years. He remains the only jockey to have been knighted.

What makes Sir Richards’ successes at Goodwood all the more remarkable is that in the days when he was king of the track, the Festival Meet was limited to four days.

He rode an extraordinary 61 winners in the 8 years from 1946 – 1953, including eleven winners in 1949, ten in 1947 and nine in 1946 and 1951.

Double Trigger

Double Trigger will forever be in the annals of racing history as the only horse to have won the prestigious Goodwood Cup three times!

His maiden win in 1995 was particularly memorable as he beat his own brother, Double Eclipse, by a neck. Mark Johnston’s Stable Star claimed the win again in 1997, but in 1998 it looked as though he may be pipped at the post by favourite Kayf Tara who beat him in the Ascot Gold Cup, an earlier fixture.

He was sent in at 11/2, well behind the 5/2 favourite Kayf Tara. Double Trigger battled to settle initially, but in the closing stages of the race he grabbed the bit and stormed through to beat Canon Can by three quarters of a length to the unbridled delight of the roaring crowd!