Grey Swallow was, according to Timeform ratings, the best horse Smullen rode and provided him with two Group 1 victories. The first was a hugely significant success, giving Smullen a first Irish Derby in 2004 when digging deep to beat Epsom winner North Light. The second Group 1 was achieved the following season in a very competitive edition of the Tattersalls Gold Cup, which featured the Arc winner Bago as well as talented performers such as Azamour and Norse Dancer. Grey Swallow was produced to hold every chance between the couple of furlongs and responded to Smullen's urgings to prevail by three-quarters of a length.
Vinnie Roe (128)
Vinnie Roe was a remarkable racehorse who Smullen developed an excellent association with, guiding him to four successive wins in the Irish St Leger. Vinnie Roe was especially impressive when recording the historic fourth success – he became the first horse to win the same pattern race four years running – and followed that up with an excellent effort in defeat when chasing home the legendary Makybe Diva in the 2004 Melbourne Cup.
Pat Smullen and Vinnie Roe combined to win the Irish St Leger a record 4 years in a row at @curraghrace— Racing TV (@RacingTV) September 15, 2020
Smullen was on board for each of the star stayer's 13 wins and rode him in all but one of his 28 races - including in 3 renewals of the Melburne Cup, finishing 2nd in 2004. pic.twitter.com/EC9ZBzZ7f5
Benbaun was at his best during 2007, a campaign in which he was partnered by Smullen on all six starts. The pair won on four occasions, with the highlight coming in the Prix de l'Abbaye, when Benbaun confirmed himself as one of the best sprinters around by beating Kingsgate Native by a length and three-quarters. Benbaun also scored three times during that campaign at the Curragh, a course where he compiled an excellent record.
Free Eagle (127)
Free Eagle needed Pat Smullen to be at his absolute best to win the 2015 Prince of Wales's Stakes. Free Eagle produced a high-class performance to win that prestigious Group 1 on just his fifth start, but he had nothing to spare at the line, holding on by a short-head having been given an exceptional ride. In contrast to runner-up The Grey Gatsby – who was short of room at a crucial stage – Free Eagle was in the perfect position to attack and could not have received any more assistance from the saddle.
Fascinating Rock (127)
Fascinating Rock had failed to make an impact in the Derby or Irish Derby but, like so many from the Weld yard, progressed well as a four-year-old and he signed off for the campaign with a Group 1 success in the Champion Stakes under Smullen, who was an ever-present in the saddle during the horse's career. The 2015 Champion Stakes was run at a strong pace on rain-softened ground, and Fascinating Rock benefited from being held up. He was unleashed with a powerful challenge down the straight and found plenty to fend off Found, who won the Breeders' Cup Turf on her next start and the Arc the following season. Fascinating Rock also won at the highest level in 2016, beating Found again in the Tattersalls Gold Cup having been ridden more prominently and well placed in a steadily run race.
Harzand was an uncomplicated sort and a strong stayer, so was given a ride that made the most of those attributes in the 2016 Derby. Racing in mid-division off the strong early pace, Harzand was pushed along by Smullen rounding Tattenham Corner and hit the front with two furlongs to go. US Army Ranger threw down a strong challenge but Smullen knew that his mount would keep finding, and Harzand dug deep to provide his rider with a first win in the Derby. The pair followed up in the Irish Derby at the Curragh, with Harzand sensibly ridden more prominently in a race that was run at a slower tempo and, therefore, provided more of a test of speed.
Pat Smullen was a wonderful jockey and a tremendous ambassador for racing in and out of the saddle.— Racing TV (@RacingTV) September 15, 2020
Here's his proudest moment as a rider, when winning the 2016 Derby at Epsom aboard Harzand in the silks of the Aga Khan for trainer Dermot Weld. pic.twitter.com/LpdJpyTKgT
Refuse To Bend (124)
Refuse To Bend gave Smullen a first British classic victory when landing the 2000 Guineas in 2003. There were a few hard-luck stories in the race but, as was so often the case, Smullen had his mount in the perfect position, settled on the heels of the leaders towards the outside, able to get a clear run when it was required. Refuse To Bend flopped in the Derby but bounced back with an authoritative display under a Group 1 penalty in the Desmond Stakes, running to a similar level as he had at Newmarket.
Famous Name (124)
Smullen forged an excellent association with Famous Name, riding the horse on all bar one of his 38 starts. The pair registered a remarkable 13 Group wins together, with Famous Name continuing to hit the heights even as a seven-year-old, winning his last five starts and running up to his best on ratings. Surprisingly, Famous Name only won once at Group 2 level – a six-and-a-half-length success in the Royal Whip Stakes in his final season – but he was only narrowly touched off in the French Derby in 2008.
Rite of Passage (124)
Rite of Passage certainly took an unusual route to the Gold Cup, heading to Royal Ascot via a third-place finish in the Neptune Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He was a revelation at Royal Ascot, however, on just his third start on the Flat, staying on powerfully under Smullen in a strongly-run race that ensured stamina was fully tested. Rite of Passage only made it to the course on another two occasions, but he won the Long Distance Cup more than two years after his Gold Cup triumph, benefiting from being held up in a race in which the field pressed for home too soon on testing ground.
Snow Sky (124)
The first time Pat Smullen rode Snow Sky he conjured a career-best performance to win the 2015 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. Smullen gave Snow Sky a masterful ride to beat talented rivals such as Eagle Top and Postponed, dictating the fractions and kicking clear on entering the straight.