Former jockey Pat Smullen is maintaining a positive outlook in his ongoing battle against pancreatic cancer and is looking forward to watching Enable add an unprecedented third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe crown to her remarkable CV on Sunday afternoon.
Smullen is undergoing treatment after suffering a setback in August, but the Rhode man’s stoicism seemed undiminished when he chatted to Game On co-host Ruby Walsh on RTÉ 2fm.
"I’m doing well and getting through it as best I can," the nine-time Irish champion jockey on the Flat told Walsh, who was crowned champion National Hunt rider on no less than 12 occasions.
"I feel well, thankfully, and I’m tolerating the treatment well and I can do most things every day.
"It’s tiring, but we have to just manage it, we’re talking every day as it comes.
"With a great medical team, we’re sitting down to try and make a plan for the future to get on some drug that will contain things when we get it back under control.
"That’s my hope, that’s my goal and, like everything in life, you have to have goals and keep pushing towards them. That’s what I’m doing.
Smullen missed out on taking part in his own charity race at the Curragh last month, but his passion for the sport still burns brightly.
Like most racing fans, he’ll be glued to the action taking place in Longchamp this weekend, where the John Gosden-trained Enable will bid for a historic third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe win under Frankie Dettori.
The Italian rider has already racked up a record six wins in Europe’s most prestigious race, and Smullen believes that record will be extended to seven victories on Sunday afternoon at the iconic Parisian track.
"I don’t think there’s a racehorse on the planet at the moment that rivals her on ability," the 42-year-old opined.
"That means that she’s the best horse in the race, no question.
"A lack of luck in running is the biggest danger to her around Longchamp.
"But to me she is by far the best racehorse."
Aside from her natural ability, Enable’s alertness from the starting stall and tractability also makes her a dream conveyance.
"She’s a very uncomplicated ride - she’s a jockeys dream," Smullen purred.
"You can position her anywhere.
"The biggest asset that this mare has for a mile-and-a-half mare, and she’s obviously got a huge amount of talent and speed, is that she leaves the gates like a sprinter.
"She’s absolutely electric into her stride."