Pat Smullen enjoyed many magical moments in his long and illustrious riding career. Here, we look at five of the best:
Trained by Dermot Weld, Vinnie Roe was a magnificent stayer and gave Smullen his first classic success when winning the Irish St Leger in 2001. Remarkably they were also triumphant in the following three years. In total Smullen and Vinnie Roe won 13 races together – five of them at Group 1 level.
Pat Smullen and Vinnie Roe combined to win the Irish St Leger a record 4 years in a row at @curraghrace— Racing TV (@RacingTV) September 15, 2020
Smullen was on board for each of the star stayer's 13 wins and rode him in all but one of his 28 races - including in 3 renewals of the Melburne Cup, finishing 2nd in 2004. pic.twitter.com/EC9ZBzZ7f5
The Aga Khan-owned colt gave Smullen arguably his biggest success when beating US Army Ranger by a length and a half in the Derby at Epsom in 2016. The Weld-trained three-year-old went on to record a Derby double in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh.
Pat Smullen was a wonderful jockey and a tremendous ambassador for racing in and out of the saddle.— Racing TV (@RacingTV) September 15, 2020
Here's his proudest moment as a rider, when winning the 2016 Derby at Epsom aboard Harzand in the silks of the Aga Khan for trainer Dermot Weld. pic.twitter.com/LpdJpyTKgT
REFUSE TO BEND
Running in the colours of Moyglare Stud, Refuse To Bend was a landmark first British classic for Smullen in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2003.
A punch of the air at the finish as Pat Smullen wins the 2000 Guineas at @NewmarketRace in 2003 aboard Refuse To Bend.— Racing TV (@RacingTV) September 15, 2020
It was one of six Group 1 victories that the 9-time Irish champion achieved in Britain. pic.twitter.com/VhejsDe3hH
RITE OF PASSAGE
Yet another high-class Weld stayer, Rite Of Passage was a formidable performer over jumps and on the flat and enjoyed his biggest day in the hands of Smullen when producing a 20/1 surprise in the Ascot Gold Cup of 2010.
Always held in the highest regard by Weld and Smullen, the lightly-raced Free Eagle was give a typically brilliant ride to hit the Group 1 jackpot in the 2015 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. It was especially enjoyable for Smullen as the horse was owned by Moyglare Stud Farm, which was a great supporter of his during and after his riding career.