Newmarket stage race in memory of Smullen

Newmarket Racecourses has announced a race will be run in memory of the late Pat Smullen at next month’s bet365 Craven meeting.

Smullen, champion jockey nine times in Ireland, died of cancer at the age of 43 but left a lasting legacy.

Close friend and Newmarket resident Ted Durcan suggested the idea of a race in his honour – and the Pat Smullen Memorial Handicap will be run on Tuesday, April 13.

Durcan said: “There were a lot of people in England at the time of Pat’s funeral who weren’t able to pay their respects with all the COVID restrictions.

“I know many of us would have liked to have been able to hold a memorial service, which we weren’t able to do, and this is just hopefully a nice way to remember Pat.

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“The Craven meeting is always a very exciting time, and Pat had huge success over the years at the Rowley Mile. The team at Newmarket Racecourses were extremely helpful and only too happy to stage a race in Pat’s name.”

The race will also offer a small bonus to the stable staff involved in it.

“Rather than have a best-turned-out prize, we decided that everyone who leads up will get £25 rather than just one person getting £50,” added Durcan.

“Pat was always very well-liked and respected by racing staff, and we all respect how much effort from the staff goes into getting the horses to the racecourse. It isn’t a large sum, but it is just a token of our appreciation.”

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