Davy Russell insists he has not made a "U-turn" on his retirement and is only stepping into the breach while Jack Kennedy recovers from a broken leg.
Russell announced his retirement on 18 December having ridden Liberty Dance to victory at Thurles - but has been tempted back into action by Gordon Elliott.
"It wasn't planned, it's just timing really" - @_Davy_Russel_ spoke to @EvanneNiC about putting his retirement on hold following Jack Kennedy's injury in Naas pic.twitter.com/GXZXAJpe3o— RTÉ Racing (@RTEracing) January 12, 2023
Russell and Kennedy rode the majority of Elliott's horses prior to his retirement and with Kennedy now on the sidelines, Russell will don his riding boots once more, starting at Fairyhouse and Punchestown this weekend. However, he has stressed that as soon as Kennedy returns to action, he will head back into retirement.
Expanding on his decision in his blog for Star Sports, Russell said: "How's the retirement going? It was going great until last weekend when Jack's spill changed everything. It was terrible to lose a lovely horse in Top Bandit and then for Jack to have broken his leg made things even worse for the yard.
"He's hasn't half had some rotten luck and that's the fifth time he's broken his leg - crazy for one so young.
"As I said in my announcement yesterday, we are a close team in Cullentra so when Gordon asked me the question if I'd come back and help ride a few as they needed me, there was only ever going to be one answer.
"You see I've only been finished a matter of weeks and have done plenty in Gordon's. As I joked in my statement, I actually sat on more on Wednesday than I've done in years.
"The timing of Jack's accident is bad. These things are never good, but if it had happened let's say two or three months later, there would have been no decision to make. There are so many young talented pilots in Gordon's and their days will come for sure. It's just a bit early for some of the more high-profile horses and that's where I am happy to help.
"Plenty have asked whether I'll be at Cheltenham, will I go to Aintree? How long will this come back last?
"Listen, this is no comeback or U-turn. I'm simply filling in for Jack and when he's ready to return, I'll step away again. That may be before Cheltenham, that may be after Cheltenham. The key is I'm there to help a team that has always had my back. That's why I've made the decision to return."