Eve Johnson Houghton strives to win Lester Piggott honorary race at Haydock

Frank Bridge represents Oxfordshire handler on Merseyside

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Eve Johnson Houghton admits it would be “lovely” to win the Smarkets Lester Piggott 70th Anniversary Handicap at Haydock on Saturday with Frank Bridge.

Johnson Houghton’s late father, Fulke, teamed up with arguably the greatest jockey of them all to win plenty of big races, including two St Legers with the brothers Ribocco (1967) and Ribero (1968).

Both horses also won the Irish Derby and with the race celebrating Piggott’s first victory as a jockey when he was just 12 years of age, it would mean something to all involved.

“It would be lovely to win given the family history,” said Johnson Houghton.

“I’m sure we’ve won a race named after Lester before. Dad won it – I’m sure it was a sprint.

“Frank Bridge would need rain to run, but I really hope he can and they are due some rain.

“With Lester being there it would be really nice to win it.”

In 1948, Piggott rode three-year-old filly The Chase in a selling handicap, winning at odds of 10-1.

Piggott went on to record 95 winners at Haydock in his glittering career, and his final success also came there, through the Jack Berry-trained Palacegate Jack in 1994.

To celebrate his remarkable achievements – which included being crowned champion jockey 11 times and countless big-race winners around the world – officials have named the fourth race of the day after him.

One man keen to take the spoils is Joe Tuite, who runs Surrey Hope.

“It would be a very nice race to win – especially with Lester being there,” said Tuite.

“Every race is nice to win, but some are nicer than others and this would definitely be one of those.

“Surrey Hope needs to get back on track as he’s slightly lost his way. We’re going there in good form and hopeful of a good run.

“He had been so consistent before his last few runs, but he has been in very deep, races like the Royal Hunt Cup and then over in Ireland. Things just haven’t gone his way, so we need to get him back on track.”

Piggott, 82, who currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland, will attend with his wife, Susan, and other family members.

Eve Johnson Houghton strives to win Lester Piggott honorary race at Haydock
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