It is 54 years this month since Lester Piggott rode his first Brighton winner.

Arguably the greatest jockey of all time took Star Of Clubs to victory in 1950 at the age of just 14.

Now regulars at the course wonder whether they will see the next legend of the track as the August festival returns.

Action at the three-dayer gets underway this afternoon with a card topped by the £20,000 totesport Brighton Challenge Cup.

Tomorrow is John Smith's Brighton Mile day with the first six finishers sharing prize money totalling £30,000.

Ladies evening finishes things off on Thursday.

The festival is seen as the next step forward by Brighton as the course looks to return to former glories.

Younger stars of the saddle like Seb Sanders and Ryan Moore, as well as superstar jockey Frankie Dettori, are expected to be in action at some time over the three days.

Despite that, for many of the more long-term Brighton racegoers, there will never be another Lester.

Piggott's first and last Brighton winners span 44 years and he collected more than 200 seaside successes along the way.

That record makes him, in the opinion of Brighton regular Phillip Grimstone, the king of the track as far as jockeys go.

Grimstone said: "I remember one ride he gave Liffey River.

"He was riding for his wife Susan, who had the training licence at the time.

"It was a seven-furlong handicap at the August meeting and he came from an impossible position to win.

"He came on the wide outside on the stand side and got up on the line.

"It was the last race on the card and it was probably the most awesome ride anyone has ever given a horse here. I will never forget it."

Steve Cauthen will remember the August meeting of 1987 fondly. That was when he rode his 1,000th British winner, guiding home Picnicing for Henry Cecil.

Then there was Willie Carson doing his best to be as aero-dynamic as possible on breezy days at the top of the hill.

Grimstone said: "Willie was tremendous around here. He was the leading rider on numerous occasions in the Eighties and Nineties.

"He was so powerful and he was low in the saddle."

Ron Hutchinson was an Australian attached to John Dunlop's stable and was nicknamed Bobbing Ron for his riding style while Geoff Lewis was the jockey who took Park Top to the 1968 Brighton Challenge Cup.

Paul Cook often attends the track as a racing writer for the Press Association. He knows the place well, having ridden more than 100 winners at Brighton.

Joe Mercer was one of the very top names Brighton spectators often saw in action while Frankie Durr rode with distinction for Richard Hannon and was remembered as being particularly short, even for a jockey. In more modern times, Richard Quinn had an amazing 23 wins in 1999, a record Grimstone does not believe will ever be beaten, even though the Brighton calendar this season includes 23 meetings, itself a record.

Sanders and Moore are the latest bright things at Brighton.

Moore already has 24 wins at his local track, the first coming just two years ago.

Then there is Dettori, who once described Brighton as "horrible, like a snake" but is packing his diary this year as he bids to reach 150 winners for the year.