Pat Smullen dead: Legendary jockey dies aged 43 after cancer battle

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Irish jockey Pat Smullen has died from cancer at the age of 43.

The nine-time champion jockey was diagnosed with the disease back in 2018.

He had suffered a relapse in recent months, the Daily Star reported.

The well-loved jockey retired last year on the advice of doctors.

He had wanted to stay in the saddle for longer.

The Racing Post broke the sad news on social media this evening, tweeting: “The Racing Post is sad to report that nine-time Irish champion jockey and 12-time European Classic winner Pat Smullen has died at the age of 43.

“Smullen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2018 and had suffered a relapse in recent months.

“His family have said that he died this evening in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.”

Smullen was a 12-time classic winner.

Arguably the peak of his career came back in 2016 when he road Harzand in the 2016 Investec Derby at Epsom.

Smullen decided to hang up his boots when he realised he could no longer get down to riding weight while fighting off the cancer.

“I started to gain weight, which is very, very important with what I have, to fight and keep my immune system strong,” he told The Sun last year.

“I was gaining weight every week.

“The realisation came on me, how could I go back to punishing my body to get down to a riding weight that’s sustainable to make a living out of it, after all the work the surgeon had done, he stood over me for seven hours, and the recovery, I’m thankful to all the nurses and oncologists, everybody, so I just said, I can’t do that.”

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