Alan joins the tributes following the loss of one of racing’s greats, Pat Smullen
Joining Alan on the Barbury gallops this morning, the first thing I noticed was how visibly upset he was about the tragic death of Ireland’s former champion jockey, Pat Smullen, who lost a brave battle against cancer yesterday at the age of 43,
Alan said:”I was only thinking on Sunday that it was a while since we had heard any news about Pat, and then this happens. It is so sad, and all my thoughts go out to Pat’s family. He only rode a few horses for me, but he was a pleasure to deal and was as nice a fellow as you could wish to meet.
“It was back in 2003 when Pat needed one more stride to get up on Salsalino in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot, and, despite another bad draw over the same mile and a half three years ago, he gave Top Tug a similarly cracking ride in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap, finishing close up in fourth.
“Pat was hugely popular and his qualities as a jockey were only matched by the courage he showed in his battle with cancer. He was a proper gentleman and will be sorely missed.”
- Reflecting on Tuesday’s Yarmouth trio, Alan said:”I would not blame the fast ground. Tritonic may have bumped into one up there, while Tronada might well have been in season as Tom Queally told me that she got very stirred up down at the start.