Davy Russell with a customary celebration at Aintree
Davy Russell with a customary celebration at Aintree

Davy Russell confirms retirement at Aintree on Saturday


Davy Russell has confirmed his temporary comeback will extend no further than Aintree’s Grand National meeting.

Russell initially announced his retirement from the saddle after riding Liberty Dance to victory at Thurles on December 18, but he was lured back into the weighing room after Gordon Elliott’s stable jockey Jack Kennedy broke his leg in January.

While emphasising it would be a short-lived return to help his long-time ally Elliott, Russell has ridden at three of the jewels of the National Hunt season, striking Grade One gold aboard the ill-fated Mighty Potter at the Dublin Racing Festival in February.

He endured a luckless Cheltenham Festival, eventually standing himself down ahead of riding Conflated in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and he did not get the leg-up again in public until Thursday at Aintree.

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With Grade One verdicts aboard Gerri Colomobe in Friday’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase and Irish Point in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle on Saturday, Russell will once again hang up his boots – this time for good – following a much more fitting finale to his illustrious career.

Russell said: “This will be my last day. I’m 43 years of age and Jack was waiting to take over the mantle, then unfortunately Jack got injured.

“Sam (Ewing) and Jordan (Gainford) were there, but we just felt we’d ease them in rather than just land it on them. If they had as bad a Cheltenham as I had, I’m not sure they’d have took it as well as I did. It served its purpose.

“My wife was very upset after Cheltenham. We’ve had so much success and Cheltenham just wasn’t really a happy place for me this year. I enjoyed it, but it just didn’t end up the way we would have liked. In between my wife and Gordon, they wanted me to end on a better note.”

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