Racing: Sir Ivor prize in Piggott's big clear out

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The Independent Online
ANYONE WITH fond memories of Lester Piggott's riding career will have the chance to purchase a rather more solid memento at Sotheby's this morning. As part of the auction house's annual racing sale, many items from Piggott's personal collection of trophies, bronzes and paintings will go under the hammer, including some which commemorate his associations with horses such as Sir Ivor and Nijinsky.

Piggott himself has said that Sir Ivor was the best of his nine Derby winners, and their talent was rewarded later in 1968 on the international stage with victory in the Washington DC International at Laurel racecourse. Piggott's trophy after that success was a sterling silver cigarette case, mounted with a model of a standing thoroughbred. Sotheby's estimates that a bid of between pounds 1,000 and pounds 1,500 will be required to secure it.

Other trophies in the auction include those awarded to Piggott after wins in Germany, France, Sweden and Venezuela, while six of his Champion Jockey trophies are also being offered for sale, at estimated prices of between pounds 1,000 and pounds 4,000. The most sought-after is expected to be the trophy awarded to Piggott in 1966, when he finished the season with a total of 191 winners, the highest of his career.

Bronzes being offered for sale include a study of an Arab mare and stallion which could realise up to pounds 15,000, while a bronze by John Skeaping of Mill Reef - one of the few 1970s Derby winners which Piggott did not ride - is expected to be knocked down for up to pounds 10,000.

The most expensive item, though, is unlikely to be one of those consigned by Piggott. That honour is expected to belong to "Early Arrivals", an oil by Sir Alfred Munnings. Sotheby's estimate for the painting is pounds 200,000 to pounds 300,000.

Sihafi failed in his attempt to break the 20th Century record for handicap wins in a season - standing at nine - at Lingfield, yesterday but will be back at the track on Friday for another attempt. The David Nicholls- trained gelding finished second, beaten two lengths by Soaked.

Susan Nock, the trainer of Senor El Betrutti, is yet to make a decision on the grey's weekend target. "We are waiting to see how much more rain there is at Newbury. Senor El Betrutti is entered in both Saturday's Hennessy and Friday's Jacky Upton Handicap Chase.