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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Champion winning jockey Smullen retires from racing on medical advice

The jockey was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2018.

Pat Smullen crowned Champion Flat jockey in October 2016.
Pat Smullen crowned Champion Flat jockey in October 2016.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IRISH CHAMPION JOCKEY Pat Smullen has announced his retirement today on medical advice after an inspirational recovery from pancreatic cancer.

Smullen was diagnosed with cancer in March 2018 but after completing his treatment, he has opted not to resume his riding career.

“I had hoped to resume my riding career, but I’ve taken the decision to retire on medical advice,” Smullen explained today to The Racing Post.

“My treatment has been completed and I will be having regular check-ups to keep on top of the situation as there is always the chance the cancer could return.

“My decision is a sad one, but it is the right thing to do and it’s a case of putting my body, my health and my family first.

“I’m almost 14lb heavier than I was when riding and when I explained to my doctors what would be involved in getting down to a riding weight they strongly advised it would not be wise to go down that road.

“They told me it would be very foolish as I could compromise my immune system.”

Crowned champion jockey on nine occasions, Smullen was also a Derby winner in 2016 at Epsom on board Harzand for trainer Dermot Weld. In total he enjoyed 12 European Classic victories. 

The 41-year-old is planning to ride out for Weld, who he has had a long-running association with.

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Fintan O'Toole

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