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Davy Russell rules out Punchestown return

Jockey will not ride at next week’s Festival.

File photo of Davy Russell.
File photo of Davy Russell.
Image: PA

DAVY RUSSELL WILL wait for a less high-profile meeting to make his comeback after ruling himself out of the Punchestown Festival.

Russell has been on the sidelines since dislocating and fracturing vertebrae in a first-fence fall in the Munster National at Limerick in October.

While he has been riding out for a number of weeks, the Gold Cup and Grand National-winning rider does not yet feel completely ready to return.

Writing in his Star Sports blog, Russell said: “I have run out of time to make my return to the saddle in Punchestown next week.

“My recovery continues to go really well and to be honest I feel great. I’ve been riding out and schooling regularly and could have given next week a shot. However, I’m not quite 100% ready and I always vowed I’d only return at that point.

“I’ve still got a tiny bit of discomfort that restricts full flexibility and I’m just not where I want to be to return on the biggest of stages.

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“I mentioned when ruling myself out of the Cheltenham Festival that you have to be 100% fit to ride the likes of Envoi Allen and I stand by that. I’ll continue to work hard on my recovery and will target a less high-profile meeting for that return.”

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