Tuesday 22 October 2019

Smullen 'overwhelmed' by funds raised as Stack's Ayr raider hits mark

Pat Smullen. Photo: PA
Pat Smullen. Photo: PA
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Pat Smullen was left "overwhelmed" after his ambitious quest to raise significant funds for pancreatic cancer trials and awareness of research into the disease raised in excess of a whopping €2.5m.

Racing legend AP McCoy was victorious aboard Sheila Lavery's Quizical in the Pat Smullen Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh last Sunday, while a series of charity fundraisers saw Smullen blow his target out of the water.

Retired jockey Smullen, who is battling pancreatic cancer for the second time, was bowled over by its success - with two cancer trials now ready to be put into operation as a result of people's remarkable generosity.

"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!" the nine-time Irish champion flat jockey said.

"Sunday was a special day and I don't think we'll ever see a race like that again.

"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."

Meanwhile, Fozzy Stack left Ayr happy once again yesterday after Piece Of Paradise (16/1) led home an Irish 1-2-3 under Chris Hayes in the Listed Harry Rosebery Stakes.

The Tipperary handler became the first Irish trainer to land the Ayr Gold Cup last season with Son Of Rest, and Piece Of Paradise continued his good fortune at the Scottish track when powering home to deny Joseph O'Brien's Lady Penelope (3/1 favourite) with Willie McCreery's Ickworth (17/2) back in third.

Piece Of Paradise will make a quick reappearance in today's Group Three Firth Of Clyde Stakes (3.15) "as long as she pulls out fit and well in the morning".

Today's Gowran Park card is the sole Irish weekend action where the Group Three Fillies Stakes (4.15) looks an open 15-runner affair with English raiders Shenanigans (Roger Varian) and Queen Of Time (Henry Candy) hoping to land the spoils.

The home team doesn't look particularly strong and Shenanigans - a Listed winner in May - can score under Ronan Whelan.

Irish Independent

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