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Racing | Pat Smullen dies aged 43 after cancer battle

Pat Smullen, the nine-time Irish Champion jockey has died, following his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Smullen was initially diagnosed in 2018 with the disease, retiring from the saddle last year, and had suffered a relapse in recent months.

A native of Rhode, County Offaly, Smullen rode 12 Classic winners and won the Epsom Derby in 2016 when he rode Harzand, an Aga Khan IV horse, trained by Dermot Weld. He would prove to be one of Ireland's most successful flat jockeys in recent years.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2018, Smullen catalogued his fight with the disease:

"You have to be mentally strong. It’s not easy, as we know. But I’m blessed with a great family that are giving me huge support, standing square behind me.

"The amount of messages I’ve received from around the world, from racing people, has been nothing short of overwhelming and that has helped me to focus my mind to fighting this and it’s given me great strength."

Smullen passed away at St Vincent's Hospital in south Dublin. He is survived by his wife Frances and their 3 children Hannah, Paddy and Sarah.

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