Irish Jockey Pat Smullen has died at the the age of 43 according to a report from the Racing Post.
Smullen's initial treatment had been positive, but he suffered a relapse and was forced to abandon plans to ride in the Pat Smullen Champions Race For Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh in September a year ago.
A long-time ally of dual Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Dermot Weld, Smullen retired from race riding because of the illness in 2018.
"Pat Smullen was that rare breed of a genuine great at what he did, yet utterly decent and unpretentious about that greatness".
"It's just a sad, sad day".
In a post on his official Twitter account, Irish President Michael D. Higgins expressed "deep sadness at the untimely death of champion jockey Pat Smullen", saying his remarkable performances at home and overseas brought joy to so many.
" I understand he stated that a few of us were more hard to encourage to ride than others, and it did take me a little bit of time to consider it since I was a bit unsuited at the time and anxious about making a program of myself".
"That was a fantastic day at the Curragh and all of us stated at the time it was pure testimony to Pat". He raised the very best part of 3 million in a really brief area of time.
"He served his apprenticeship riding against Mick Kinane and Christy Roche".
"I looked at a picture this morning of a lunch in Leopardstown in February 2018".
Pat Smullen's final victor on the racetrack came at Dundalk in March 2018, when riding Togoville to victory for handler Anthony McCann.
"It's just devastating. We are all heartbroken". It's pure anguish that he was taken so young. I just can't just begin to imagine what his family are feeling.
" I believe there were really couple of individuals Pat didn't touch in some method".
Cancer Trials Ireland paid its own tribute the rider, hailing him "as a friend like no other" and underlining his "dramatic and unusual" degree of his fundraising efforts. He leaves behind his wife Frances, the Classic-winning trainer who is a sister of Aidan O'Brien's wife Annemarie, and their three children Hannah, Paddy and Sarah.
He told Off The Ball a year ago that a positive approach had been key during his treatment and he spearheaded a fundraising drive for cancer research which brought in over two-million Euro for Cancer Trials Ireland. That is Pat's real gift to the people who come after him, who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.