British rider Lester Piggott came out of retirement at age 54 to ride Royal Academy in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Mile, and the legendary jockey used every bit of his experience to guide the colt to victory. Piggott got Royal Academy clear in the middle of the Belmont Park turf course, and wore down a strong field to win.
Royal Academy was trained by another legend, Irishman Vincent O'Brien. Though O’Brien won every major stakes race in Europe, including the Epson Derby six times, Royal Academy was his one and only Breeders' Cup winner. The 3-year-old colt came into the Mile off an impressive victory in the Grade 1 July Cup at Newmarket, in England, carrying 129 pounds. Royal Academy was named champion three year old in Ireland, and champion three year old miler in Europe in 1990.