Nine-time Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen announces his retirement following cancer battle

NINE-TIME Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen has announced his retirement.

The multiple Group 1 winning rider has been battling pancreatic cancer since March 2018.

The 41-year-old has provided several positive updates whilst undergoing treatment.

But following a recent consultation with his doctors, he was advised that retiring would be the best course of action.

Smullen said in his thoroughbreddailynews.com column: "I have had a frank discussion with my doctors and I gave them the full details of the way of life of a jockey, and what I'd have to go through to get back to full fitness, to get back to the weight that I need to be, and to compete at the level I want to compete at.

"They advised me that I should not compromise my immune system in any way.

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"So, taking that into account, the right thing for me to do is to call it a day.

"I've been very fortunate through my career to meet some great people and to ride some very good horses.

"I have a lot of cherished memories of a great career, and I'm very thankful for that. Now it's the second chapter of my life. I think everyone has gathered by now that horses are everything in my life.

"I know nothing else and I'm determined that I'll still work within the industry and, hopefully, I can be of some benefit."

Smullen rode his first winner in 1993 at Dundalk and claimed his first Group 1 winner four years later.

In total, he won 27 races at the highest level, including 12 Classics in Ireland, England and France.

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