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staying positive

9-time Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen set to undergo surgery as he continues cancer treatment

The Offaly-born rider was diagnosed with a tumour in March.

NINE-TIME IRISH champion jockey Pat Smullen is set to undergo surgery as he moves on to the next stage of his treatment after being diagnosed with a tumour in March.

The Offaly-born rider has completed a course of chemotherapy and is set to undergo surgery which he hopes will lead to a full recovery.

“Thankfully everything is going according to plan,” said Smullen as quoted by Sporting Life. “We’re through the chemotherapy now and on to the next step.

“That will hopefully be followed by surgery and then hopefully that will be the end of it.

I’d like to thank everybody again for their support and well wishes. That has been a big factor in me getting on so well and getting this far.”

Smullen attended the Hurling for Cancer match in Newbridge on Wednesday, and helped get the game underway between Davy Russell’s Best and Jim Bolger’s Stars.

The legendary jockey missed the opening day of the turf season earlier this year and subsequently released a statement explaining the nature of his illness.

“I was showing some of the symptoms associated with a gall stone problem but it was discovered that the problem was more serious,” he said at the time.

“A tumour was discovered and consequently I won’t be riding for the foreseeable future.

“It’s a new challenge for me and it’s one I am fully focused on overcoming.”

Throughout his career, Smullen has claimed victories in nearly all of flat racing’s marquee races including the Irish Derby, Oaks and St. Leger as well as the Epsom Derby, 2000 Guineas and Ascot Gold Cup which he won on Rite of Passage in 2010.

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