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Injury forces Davy Russell to...
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Injury forces Davy Russell to miss this year's Cheltenham Festival

Davy Russell will miss this year's Cheltenham Festival. 

The 41-year old jockey has failed to recover in time from a bad fall suffered at Limerick back in October.

Russell fractured his C6 and C7 vertebrae and dislocated his T1 after coming off Doctor Duffy early in the Munster National.

The three-time Irish champion jockey is the most successful active jockey at the Cheltenham Festival, with 22 winners to his name.

Russell was aboard Lord Windermere for victory in the 2014 Gold Cup. And he was the leading jockey at the 2018 festival with four winners - among them Balko des Flos in the Ryanair Chase.

The Youghal native confirmed his absence from this year's festival to Bill Esdaile, saying, "I met with my surgeon earlier today and, although he is delighted with the progress I've made, he feels that I'm not quite where I should be in order to ride at Cheltenham next month,

"It is frustrating as I feel I've made giant strides in recent weeks on the road to recovery.

"However, after talking things through with Gordon [Elliott], we both feel it sensible for me to follow advice and miss Cheltenham as it is only weeks away.

"To ride horses of the calibre of Envoi Allen you have to be 100 per cent fit and I would be doing the team a disservice to ride when I'm not ready.

"Obviously, it's hugely disappointing, but it's important to make the call early.

"I will continue to work hard on my recovery and look forward to getting back in the saddle the following month.

"I remain so grateful for all the extraordinary medical attention I have received and thank you for all your lovely messages of support."

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