Pat Smullen's quest to raise money for pancreatic cancer trials and awareness of pancreatic cancer research has seen a sum in excess of €2.5m raised.
The nine-time Irish champion jockey was at the centre of an incredible fund-raising drive by Irish horse racing over Longines Irish Champions Weekend, which culminated in the Pat Smullen Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh on Sunday last.
The weekend of charity events included a charity dinner, an on-line auction in which items were donated by the racing and breeding community, specially-designed souvenir cups were on sale at both Leopardstown and the Curragh, while donations have continued to flood into cancertrials.ie, the charity's website, even after the dust settled on a special weekend.
The Champions Race was won in dramatic and emotional circumstances by 20-time British jumps champion Tony McCoy, riding Quizical for Smullen’s good friends Sheila and John Lavery.
"You have to face it, what else do you do? Lay down and give up?"— RTÉ Racing (@RTEracing) September 15, 2019
Pat Smullen gives a positive update on a momentous day for him and other legendary jockeys that will raise a huge amount for charity. pic.twitter.com/B3irBtFUZg
And now, with two cancer trials ready to be put into operation by Cancer Trials Ireland, the generosity shown will make a difference very quickly.
Donations are still welcome to cancertrials.ie and a small number of the limited edition reusable cups can be purchased.
Pat Smullen said: "I never dreamed that we would reach a figure like this and it is a tribute to the kind nature of everyone in the racing and breeding industry – I am overwhelmed!"
"Sunday at the Curragh was a special day and a huge thank you to everybody who came along.
"I don’t think we’ll ever see a race like that again and I owe so much to my good friends, the nine champion jockeys, who came out of retirement to ride in it, as well as the race sponsors, owners and trainers who made the race possible.
"I also want to thank everybody in Horse Racing Ireland for their energy, ideas and encouragement throughout the campaign, the Longines Irish Champions Weekend committee, the Curragh, Leopardstown and the IHRB, the media, all the volunteers and everybody who played a role in helping us achieve our goals.
"Having worked with the team in Cancer Trials Ireland, I am excited with how they can make your donations work to give hope to those families affected by cancer. A sincere thank you to one and all."