Lester Piggott had a reputation for not being keen on having his picture taken (the magazine warned me), and had been known to walk out on sessions after only a few minutes. When I was asked to photograph him I thought 'right yer bastard' -and hired in a couple of motor-drive cameras, each with different focal length lenses so I could get a few in the bag before he went for the photo-finish. In all fairness I think his lack of tolerance is due to hearing problems, and anyway, some photographers would probably test the patience of a fucking saint with their demands, so I could more than sympathise. Anyway, despite my expectations that it was going to be a short session and an early lunch, he sat there good as gold 'til I told him I'd run out of film!

Many people commented at the result that I had sat him on the chair jockey-fashion, -which hadn't occurred to me at all. The shoot was set up in a room in The Dorchester, and my assistant and I posed on the chair for the Polaroids etc., which we showed to Lester on his arrival and he just struck up the pose. All he needed was his whip and he'd be off!

Asked him before he left if he'd got any tips, and he said 'yeah, -don't stand up in a dinghy'? Went down to see his latest mount and I said 'what are you going to do with that,' -he said 'race it' -I said 'you'll probably beat it.' I backed it at ten to one and it came in at twenty past four, -it was so late back it had to tip-toe to the stables...