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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 19 August, 2019

9-time Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen out for 'forseeable future' following tumour diagnosis

The 40-year-old missed the opening day of the flat season at Naas on Sunday.

Smullen has won the Champion Jockey title nine times.
Smullen has won the Champion Jockey title nine times.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

LEGENDARY IRISH JOCKEY Pat Smullen is facing a lengthy spell away from racing following the recent diagnosis of a serious illness.

The 40-year-old missed the opening day of the turf season at Naas on Sunday and released a statement today explaining his reasons.

In it, the nine-time Irish champion jockey told The Racing Post:

“Most people will have been aware that I have been in hospital in recent days undergoing tests.

“I was showing some of the symptoms associated with a gall stone problem but it was discovered that the problem was more serious.

“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.”

Smullen went on to thank friends and family for their support and to say he was hopeful of making a full recovery.

The Offaly-born rider’s CV contains wins 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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Steve O'Rourke

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