- Quote: ‘After talking through things with trainer Gordon Elliott, we both feel it sensible for me to follow advice and miss Cheltenham’
By Andrew Atkinson
Davy Russell will miss the 2021 four days Cheltenham Festival in March after failing to recover from sustaining a dislocated and fractured vertebrae in October.
“I met with my surgeon and although he is delighted with the progress I have made, he feels that I’m not quite where I should be in order to ride at Cheltenham,” rued jockey Russell.
“It is frustrating as I feel I have made giant strides in recent weeks on the road to recovery,” said Russell, who sustained injury in a fall when riding Doctor Duffy in the Munster National at Limerick in October.
Russell, 41, who was set to ride Envoi Allen in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Festival amongst other rides, said: “After talking through things with trainer Gordon Elliott, we both feel it sensible for me to follow advice and miss Cheltenham.
“To ride horses of the calibre of Envoi Allen you have to be 100 per cent fit. I would be doing the team a disservice to ride when I’m not ready.”
Russell added: “Obviously, it is hugely disappointing, but it is 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.”