Gigginstown chief Michael O'Leary urges jockey Davy Russell to retire after latest injury where he broke his NECK
GIGGINSTOWN chief Michael O'Leary has urged Davy Russell to retire after a horror fall which left him with a broken neck.
The leading jockey had 'bolts drilled' into his head after fracturing and dislocating several vertebrae at Limerick in November.
But Russell, 41, has stepped up his recovery in recent weeks and is planning a return to the saddle in the near future.
Russell and O'Leary, who is also the boss of Ryanair, have enjoyed plenty of top-level success together over the years.
Some of their most famous successes have come courtesy of Tiger Roll, who won back-to-back Grand Nationals in 2018 and 2019.
O'Leary shocked the racing world in 2019 when announcing his plans to wind down his powerhouse Gigginstown operation over the next five years – to spend more time with his family.
And speaking on Luck On Sunday, O'Leary said that Russell should reconsider his comeback for similar reasons.
O'Leary said: "We have always had admiration for Davy, he is a brilliantly talented jockey.
"He was a bit of a lunatic trying to get his weight down for a number of years.
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"But I think marriage and having children has changed him, he's a remarkable jockey and he's also now a remarkable professional.
"But after the last injury, I wish he would look at the bigger picture and actually retire, I think he should.
"He has had a remarkable career, but he is also now the father of three or four children and I would hate for him to take anymore risks. Particularly when he has had a warning with the neck injury.
"For the sake of Edelle (his wife) and his family, I think he should retire – but I don't think he will.
"If he continues to ride he will continue to be on Ireland's leading jockeys, but there is more to life than riding winners."
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