DAVY RUSSELL has described himself as "very disappointed " at being forced to miss the John Smith's Grand National meeting at Aintree where he was due to ride Joncol in next Saturday's big race after being informed by the BHA that he would not be allowed ride in Britain until he underwent surgery for the lung injury he suffered at the Cheltenham Festival.
Ireland's champion jumps jockey, who returned to action in Ireland nine days ago, took a heavy fall from Un Beau Matin at the final hurdle in the Coral Cup on the second day of Cheltenham.
He rode in two races on day three of the festival before being stood down and taken to hospital where it was discovered that he had a punctured lung.
Russell, who has ridden in the last ten Grand Nationals, said on Saturday: "When I got home from Cheltenham I went to see an independent specialist and I asked him if I could ride on for the rest of the season without having an operation. I was told that I could.
"I rode at Cork on March 21 and have been riding out and schooling since then. On Monday I received a phone call informing me that I was to present myself in England by Thursday concerning the injury.
"I thought everything would be fine and that I could ride in Britain. But when I asked the doctor, he told me that he couldn't answer that question. This morning I had a call from Dr Michael Turner who told me that I would be unable to ride in Britain until I had an operation."
Russell will be in action at Fairyhouse on Sunday when his mounts will include Dedigout in the Grade 1 Powers Gold Cup and again on Monday when his rides will include Sweeney Tunes in the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National.
Jamie Stier, BHA director of raceday operations and regulation, said: "The BHA places rider safety as a top priority, and because of this Davy Russell's condition has precluded him from race riding in Britain under the terms of the BHA Standards of Fitness to Ride.
"The Standards are very clear on this specific condition as it may recur at any time and could form a potential risk to himself or other jockeys.
"Understanding the unique circumstances surrounding the timing of the approaching Grand National meeting - at which Davy, connections and the betting public would have been expecting to see him ride - we instigated a process of obtaining a second opinion on this matter.
"Davy met an independent consultant thoracic surgeon as well as a member of the BHA's Medical Review Panel in London on Thursday, who both also recommended that Davy should not be eligible to ride in Britain at this time. Ultimately the decision was taken by the Licensing Committee to uphold their recommendations.
"This process was carried out in as fast a manner as possible in order to ensure a resolution could be reached well in advance of the Grand National meeting, for the benefit of both the rider and betting public.
"We are aware that the Turf Club have given Davy approval to ride, however, as with many regulatory areas, there are variations between authorities and it is not surprising that different jurisdictions might have different views on this case."
Disappointed Russell ruled out of NationalBy Tony O'Hehir racingpost.com 30 MAR 2013 DAVY RUSSELL has described himself as "very disappointed " at being forced to miss the John Smith's Grand National meeting at Aintree where he was due to ride Joncol