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Retired champion McCoy wins charity race

Sir Anthony McCoy has rolled back the years to come out on top on Quizical in the Pat Smullen Champions Race For Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh.

The race was part of a charity day organised by jockey Pat Smullen who is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

The events on the day helped the total to more than EUR1.3 million including a donation of half a million pounds from Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum and a sizeable cheque from Eva Maria Bucher-Haefner on behalf of Moyglare Stud.

McCoy, 20-times champion jumps jockey, gave a vintage front-running performance on the Sheila Lavery-trained four-year-old to beat eight other top jockeys from both codes in the charity race that has received huge backing.

Despite top-weight, the 11-4 favourite finished resolutely to beat Aussie Valentine, ridden by McCoy’s great friend and long-time rival Ruby Walsh, by 1-1/2 lengths. Johnny Murtagh steered Red Striker into third place.

“I’m very proud to be here today racing for a great cause,: McCoy said.

“We can be very proud of horse racing in general in Ireland. The stable staff, racegoers, owners, trainers, jockeys – everyone has given so much support to the amazing man that Pat Smullen is.

“Pat is a special person and a great friend to us all. Unfortunately it’s tough and sad circumstances what we’re doing today, but it just shows you what a brilliant sport this is.”

Smullen’s popularity helped create the star-studded cast for the race.

Dermot Weld’s former stable jockey was forced into retirement last and as he is undergoing a second round of treatment, he was unable to ride in it himself.

“This is not about me,” Smullen said.

“This is about people who are in this situation and we are out to raise a lot of money and make a huge difference going forward and give people confidence, as it does me.

“What a privilege to be involved in what is a great industry.”

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