Health setback forces Pat Smullen to miss his charity race

Health setback forces Pat Smullen to miss his charity race

A health setback means Pat Smullen will be unable to ride in his Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland on day two of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.

The race is to take place at The Curragh on Sunday, September 15.

The nine-time champion jockey had a highly publicised battle with pancreatic cancer following a diagnosis in March 2018.

The multiple Group One-winning jockey announced his retirement in May, but had been planning to return to the saddle for the Pat Smullen Champions Race For Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh. However, he has had to withdraw on medical advice.

He said: “Unfortunately I’ve had a setback with my health and have to undergo chemotherapy.

“On advice from my medical team, I am unable to ride in the Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland. I am bitterly disappointed not to be able to take part in this very special race – I was really looking forward to riding against such a brilliant group of champions, especially at the Curragh.

“I’ve spoken to Horse Racing Ireland, who are helping me with the fundraising activity over Longines Irish Champions Weekend, and I am more determined than ever that the fundraising activity goes ahead because pancreatic cancer needs more awareness now than ever before.”

While Smullen will not be able to take part, nine champions – Sir Tony McCoy, Ruby Walsh, Charlie Swan, Johnny Murtagh, Richard Hughes, Paul Carberry, Joseph O’Brien, Kieren Fallon and Ted Durcan – are all due to be in action.

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