Leading figures from the race have paid tribute to Pat Smullen following the announcement that  the nine-times champion jockey is retiring.

Smullen, 41, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March last year and has been undergoing treatment.

While his progress remains positive he confirmed that he will be retired from racing under medical advice.

Mick Kinane, 13-times Irish champion Flat jockey said: "Pat has come through a tough time and it's good to see he's got his health back, which is obviously the main thing.

"He's been a very good jockey and can be very proud of the career he's had.

"We had some good scraps and some great times, on and off the track. Hopefully they'll continue."

Aidan O'Brien, multiple champion trainer said: "Pat was second to none, both as a jockey and a horseman. As a human being he has inspired people all over the world, especially with the way he has dealt with and spoken about his illness.

"We, like everybody else, look forward to reading his articles and hearing his interviews as his knowledge, experience and wisdom will be an invaluable contribution to everyone."

Joseph O'Brien, dual Irish champion Flat jockey added: "Pat is someone I looked up to both before I started riding and after I started riding - he was an idol of mine.

"I was lucky enough to be able to ride against him for a number of years. We were tough competitors, but he was always an absolute gentleman and we had some great times together on and off the track.

"He's a great man and a great jockey and I wish him all the best in whichever road he chooses to go down in the future."

Meanwhile former Irish champion Flat jockey Declan McDonogh said: "We've become very close over the years - I'm actually godfather to one of Pat's sons, Paddy.

"It's been an emotional rollercoaster over the last year or so and it's great that he's got over that big hurdle now, which is the main thing.

"Career-wise he's had a fantastic time. We had plenty of battles on the track and he's been a phenomenal jockey, a brilliant professional and a fantastic role model for any young jockeys coming through.

"I started three or four years after Pat and we've soldiered on together. It's a bit surreal now that he's retired and Fran Berry has recently retired as well - the older crew is getting smaller!

"It's unbelievable that Pat Smullen, Fran Berry and Ruby Walsh have all retired in the space of a month or so, but at least they're all getting out in one piece."