Equine superstars gather in Kilkenny to launch cancer fundraiser
By COLIN BARTLEY
A VERITABLE galaxy of horse racing superstars galloped into Kilkenny this week to launch an event raising money for new cancer trials and treatments.
Ruby Walsh, AP McCoy, Paul Carberry and Charlie Swan joined Joseph O’Brien at his Piltown yard as they prepare for the Pat Smullen Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland at the Longines Irish Champions Weekend in the Curragh.
Multiple group-one winning jockey Pat Smullen announced his retirement in May after undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in March 2018.
Cancer Trials Ireland has two pancreatic trials ready to start, and all proceeds raised over Longines Irish Champions Weekend will ensure they start as soon as possible.
The quintet – who will be joined by fellow champions Johnny Murtagh, Richard Hughes, Kieren Fallon and Ted Durcan in the charity event at the Curragh on September 15 – took to the saddle on the famous and beautiful Kilkenny gallops on Owning Hill to launch the event.
This special race may be the last time horse racing fans get to see record-breaking jockey Tony McCoy in action. He vowed never to return to the saddle following his retirement in 2016.