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Bookies pay out on Russell

DAVY Russell is already past the post in the race for the Irish jump jockeys championship as far as bookmakers Stan James are concerned.

They have decided to pay |out to punters who backed the Co Cork rider to land his first-ever title as he holds a substantial lead with the season drawing to a close at the end of this month.

Russell is currently 18 ahead of Ruby Walsh, by 100 to 82, and the curtain comes down on April 30 with the final card at the five-day Punchestown Festival.

Stan James’ Joseph Burke said: “We feel it’s a done deal now and that after five consecutive second-place finishes, Davy will finally be crowned champion Irish jump jockey at Punchestown. Stan James have now opened a new handicap book for the remainder of the season where we are essentially betting on the margin of victory and Davy is available at 5/6 minus 10.5 winners.”

However, despite having a big lead, Russell refuses to accept he is champion until the season is over. “It doesn’t matter until the end of Punchestown,” he said.

BHA set date to hear appeal by Hughes

The British Horseracing Authority appeal board are to consider Richard Hughes’ plea not to uphold his 50-day ban while riding in India on Friday week.

The jockey was suspended in February having been found guilty by the stewards in India of “not following the trainer’s specific instructions and thereby not allowing his mount Jacqueline Smile to run on its merits”.

He turned to the BHA after failing to have the ban overturned in India, but was unsuccessful in his application not to reciprocate the suspension.

“The appeal board to consider Richard Hughes’ application against the suspension imposed by RW (Royal Western) Indian Turf Club on Friday 20 April,” the BHA press office wrote on Twitter.

Milczarek to return to work next week

Kirsty Milczarek is set to return to action next week after winning her appeal against a two-year ban for passing information for reward and for committing a corrupt or fraudulent practice.

She has already taken steps to regain her licence and will resume work-riding at the weekend.

“I’ve spoken to my solicitor and he’s going to fast-track it once it’s been re-applied for, I won’t be back riding this week purely because |I won’t be ready physically,” Milczarek said. “\[Shane Hegarty\]What everybody has got to remember, and a lot of people didn’t realise, was that I wasn’t actually allowed into a racing yard, so I haven’t sat on a racehorse for a good four months. I’ll be back riding work on Saturday morning.”