Horse Racing: Nine-time Irish champion Smullen dies aged 43

FILE PHOTO: Britain Horse Racing - Investec Derby Festival - Epsom Racecourse - 4/6/16 Pat Smullen celebrates after riding Harzand to victory in the 4.30 Investec Derby Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Nine-time Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen has died aged 43, just over a year after retiring from racing as he had treatment for pancreatic cancer, British media reported on Tuesday.

He helped raise over 2.5 million euros ($2.96 million) for pancreatic cancer trials and research by organising a legends race and was hailed as “the ultimate professional” in tributes.

Smullen, from Rhode in County Offaly, won the Epsom Derby and the Irish Derby in 2016 on Harzand, trained by Dermot Weld.

He had previously won the Irish Derby with Grey Swallow in 2004, as well as the Irish 1,000 Guineas twice, the Irish Oaks and the Irish St Leger four years running.

Smullen was also a Gold Cup winner at Royal Ascot with Rite Of Passage, and won the Champion Stakes on Fascinating Rock.

"Pat Smullen was the ultimate professional," said fellow jockey Ross Coakley after news of his death.

"Pat was one of our greatest stars. He was nine-times champion jockey, but in many ways his greatest achievements were out of the saddle," added Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh.

"Since his diagnosis he did wonderful work fundraising for charity and he battled this disease with great heart and it's hard to believe he has passed at such a young age."

($1 = 0.8440 euros)

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In Others

Soccer-Brighton and Everton battle out dull 0-0 draw
Soccer-U.S. women's national team to appeal pay claims after working conditions settlement
'The fight is off' McGregor tells Poirier in Twitter spat
Grand National sets record for UK online sports betting
Sport-British events moved to avoid clash with Prince Philip's funeral
Pow-erful show earns Mei Foong MVP award
Olympics-bound athletes to get jabs today
70% of Japanese want Tokyo Games cancelled or delayed - poll
Golf-Japan hails 'bright news' of Matsuyama's Masters win
Golf-Japan's Matsuyama wins Masters for maiden major victory

Stories You'll Enjoy