Racing: Piggott in hospital after fall

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The Independent Online
LESTER PIGGOTT was kept in hospital overnight after an ugly fall at Goodwood yesterday. The 58-year-old suffered facial bruising and mild concussion after his mount's saddle slipped in a sprint handicap.

Piggott slid from Coffee 'N Cream just inside the final furlong as the runners reached their fastest speed and was bounced along the turf, narrowly avoiding the hooves of those behind him as his journey ended in a disturbing somersault. 'I nearly killed that man,' Michael Roberts, one of the other riders in the race, said. 'I had to swerve to avoid him.'

When medical staff reached the jockey they found his skull protector had been wrenched off in the fall. They put a neck brace on him and ferried him to the racecourse's medical room. 'He looked a bit delirious,' Taffy Williams, one visitor, reported.

When Piggott was placed in the ambulance he had tape over his forehead, strapping him to a stretcher, and medical staff treated him with an oxygen mask. But he was able to move his arms around and communicate with his aiders. 'Lester was laughing and cracking jokes with the doctors and nurses,' Tony Ives, a fellow jockey, reported.

A spokewoman for St Richard's Hospital, Chichester, said last night: 'Lester Piggott is fine. He has suffered no serious injuries or broken bones. The hospital is keeping him in overnight for observation.'