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DAVY RUSSELL will make a sensational return to the saddle with immediate effect, less than a month since calling time on his glittering racing career.
The 43-year-old has made the shock move in the wake of Jack Kennedy, Gordon Elliott's No 1 rider since Russell's retirement before Christmas, suffering a broken leg last Sunday at Naas that leaves him touch and go to make the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The Cork pilot, a two-time winner of the Aintree Grand National, was adamant as recently as last weekend that there would be no change of heart in terms of a U-turn but Kennedy's injury status has quickly changed that as he returns for a farewell tour.
"After meeting with Gordon today, I have decided to come out of retirement and ride for the short period while Jack is on the sidelines," Russell said in a statement this evening.
"It’s only been a matter of weeks since I retired, and I actually rode more out this morning than I have in many years.
"We are a close team in Cullentra and after what happened last weekend, I want to help the team through a difficult few weeks. The plan is to resume riding in Fairyhouse on Saturday and Punchestown on Sunday."