Vinnie Roe and Harzand were two of the jewels in the crown for Pat Smullen

Wed 16 Sep 2020

Pat Smullen enjoyed many magical moments in his long and illustrious riding career. Here, we look at six of the best:

Vinnie Roe

Trained by Dermot Weld, Vinnie Roe was a magnificent stayer and gave Smullen his first Classic success when winning the Irish St Leger in 2001. Remarkably they were also triumphant in the following three years. In total Smullen and Vinnie Roe won 13 races together – five of them at Group One level.


The Aga Khan-owned colt gave Smullen arguably his biggest success when beating US Army Ranger by a length and a half in the Derby at Epsom in 2016. The Weld-trained three-year-old went on to record a Derby double in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh.

Refuse To Bend

Running in the colours of Moyglare Stud, Refuse To Bend was a landmark first British Classic for Smullen in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2003.

Rite Of Passage

Yet another high-class Weld stayer, Rite Of Passage was a formidable performer over jumps and on the Flat and enjoyed his biggest day in the hands of Smullen when producing a 20-1 surprise in the Ascot Gold Cup of 2010.


Nightime’s win in the 2006 running of the Irish 1,000 Guineas was memorable for Smullen and also Weld, as the filly was owned and bred by the trainer’s mother, Marguerite. Nightime also won the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Free Eagle

Always held in the highest regard by Weld and Smullen, the lightly-raced Free Eagle was give a typically brilliant ride to hit the Group One jackpot in the 2015 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

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