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Pat Smullen: The five biggest wins of a glittering career in the saddle

PAT Smullen enjoyed a stellar 25-year career in the saddle.

Following his sad death at the age of 43, we look back at five magic moments for the nine-time Irish champion jockey.

Harzand gave Smullen his biggest day in the saddle when winning the Derby
Getty Images - Getty

Derby 2016 – Harzand

The tough-as-teak Harzand was among the leading fancies heading into the 2016 Derby.

The Dermot Weld-trained colt had won the Ballysax at Leopardstown before heading to Epsom, and the 13-2 shot was always travelling nicely in mid-division.

Smullen got to work approaching the final two furlongs and the son of Sea The Stars galloped away from his rivals inside the final furlong, fending off the wayward US Army Ranger for a memorable success.

He described his success as: “Realising a childhood dream. Winning the Epsom Derby is the defining moment in a rider’s career, and I was lucky it came at a time in my career where I could appreciate every minute of it.”

Gold Cup 2010 – Rite Of Passage

The Dermot Weld-trained gelding came into the historic Royal Ascot feature an unfancied 20-1 chance.

The son of Giant’s Causeway was having his first start since finishing third over hurdlers in the Neptune at the Cheltenham Festival, but he proved he was able to mix it at the top level on the Flat with a gutsy win.

After a prolonged home straight duel with the favourite Age Of Aquarius, he edged ahead to win an absolute thriller by a neck.

Rite Of Passage won a thrilling Gold Cup in 2010
PA:Press Association

Irish Oaks 2015 – Covert Love

The Hugo Palmer-trained mare arrived at the Curragh in July 2015 on the back of three straight wins in the UK.

She was beautifully ridden by Smullen, who was eager not to let the long-time leader Together Forever gain an unassailable advantage.

He had to get after the filly a long way from home, but she found plenty under pressure and stormed through to lead inside the final furlong, giving Smullen his sole win in the fillies Classic.

The tough Covert Love won two Classics under Smullen
PA:Press Association

Irish St Leger 2004 – Vinnie Roe

The brilliant Vinnie Roe provided Smullen with a third of his 12 career Classics.

The tough stayer won four Irish St Leger’s between 2001 and 2004, fending off Aidan O’Brien’s Brian Boru to land the historic quadruple.

The son of Definite Article also ran in three Melbourne Cups, finishing second to legendary mare Makybe Diva in 2004.

PA:Press Association
Vinnie Roe won four Irish St Legers[/caption]

2000 Guineas 2003 – Refuse To Bend

Smullen’s first British Classic came aboard the top-class Refuse To Bend.

The Dermot Weld-trained colt was unbeaten heading into the 2000 Guineas 16 years ago and was sent off a well-backed 9-2 shot.

Smullen was unable to get cover in the early stages, but he didn’t panic and the pair came with a strong run out of the dip to win decisively in the famous Moyglare colours.

9-2 shot Refuse To Bend won the 2000 Guineas 16 years ago
Times Newspapers Ltd

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