Pat Smullen returns to saddle for Irish Champions Weekend charity race
The inspirational Pat Smullen will make a one-day only return to the saddle when riding in a charity race on Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh in September.
Smullen announced his retirement in May after completing a remarkable recovery from pancreatic cancer and the nine-time champion jockey will participate in the event to raise funds for Cancer Trials Ireland.
The race will be a ten-runner event run over a straight mile on day two of the Longines-sponsored weekend on September 15 with the other nine former top jockeys set to be announced later this week.
Smullen is an ambassador for Irish Champions Weekend and has called for support in his bid to raise funds.
He said: “I think most people are aware of what my family and I went through last year and I am indebted to the brilliant people who looked after me in St Vincent’s Hospital.
“I want to try in some way to repay them and would dearly love the support of everybody in raising money to help fund vital cancer research, and this exciting champions race is one of a number of fundraising activities over the weekend.”
Smullen added: “We want to put on a real show on Longines Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh and bring together a group of former champions that are sure to be as competitive today as they were throughout their careers.
“I’ve had a tremendous reaction from my former colleagues and they’ve all been incredibly supportive.
“This race may be for charity but every one of these guys were ruthlessly competitive in the saddle and I’d have my doubts that time has dimmed that ambition!”
The Pat Smullen Champions race for Cancer Trials Ireland will be run after the Comer Group International Irish St Leger and will be shown on RTÉ Television.
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