Davy Russell returns to the saddle at Downpatrick on Friday after 11 months on the sidelines with a neck injury.
The dual Grand National-winning jockey has been out of action since a fall from Doctor Duffy at the first fence of the Munster National at Limerick last October.
He initially hoped to be back for Cheltenham and then Aintree in the spring.
Once he had missed all the big Festivals, Russell was determined not to rush back and instead made sure he was 100 per cent recovered before targeting a return to action.
The day will finally arrive on Friday, when he teams up twice with his old friend and ally Gordon Elliott.
He will ride The Greek in the Bill McIlroy Bookmaker Maiden Hurdle and later on the card partners The Abbey in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.
"It's been delayed a couple of times so it’s great to get there" Russell told 2fm’s Game On. "I feel great.
"It wasn’t too bad. I just had to accept that I had a serious injury and that it was all about recovering and trying to get back."
"I found it hard at the start when I couldn’t drive and had to walk everywhere. Then I started cycling. I was trying to do as much exercise as I could because I didn't want to let my weight go up too much.
"I had a body cast and a neck cast and couldn’t see behind me. It was hard for a while but it was a relief to get the cast and neck brace off.
"It was a challenge but there was always light at the end of the tunnel.
"Once the operation went well and the recovery went well, I was always happy I was going to get there.
"I love winning. That’s the one thing I missed. That feeling when you cross the line is irreplaceable really."
Russell's return comes in the week that Elliott's six-month suspension, after an image of him sitting on a dead horse was widely circulated on social media, came to an end.
The jockey believes that his long-time ally can get quickly get back in the groove.
Russell: "Myself and Gordon work really well together. When he is going I'm a better jockey, so I’m really looking forward to getting back in there.
"His ability to train horses is not in question and he doesn’t have to start at the very bottom where he had done in the past. So I’d be quite confident he can get back to the level where he left off. He still has a lot of very good owners with him and a lot of nice horses.
"I'll be treating him the same and a normal human being that understands life in general would treat him the same."