Thursday 26 April 2018

'She is always in my thoughts' - Grand National winner Davy Russell pays emotional tribute to his mother

Davy Russell kisses the trophy as he celebrates winning the 17:15 Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase 
Davy Russell kisses the trophy as he celebrates winning the 17:15 Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase 
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Grand National winning jockey Davy Russell has paid tribute to his mother, Phyllis, following his Aintree success on Tiger Roll.

The 38-year-old Irish jockey won the National for the first time in his career when the Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll held off the challenge of Pleasant Company in Aintree on Saturday.

After his historic victory, Russell dedicated the win to his close friend Pat Smullen who was diagnosed with a tumour in March. He was also guided from above by his dear mother Phyllis who passed away just weeks before Smullen's diagnosis.

Speaking on RTE Radio today, Russell said his mother was very much in his thopughts.

"Ah she was. She is always in my thoughts to be honest. She was a great woman and we are always thinking of her.

"She was an exceptional woman and it is just a pity she is not here to enjoy it with us.

"The Grand National touches a world of people, the whole way through, and everybody that has ever been involved with me throughout my career. Hopefully they can feel a bit of it as well."

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Russell was involved in high-profile split with Michael O'Leary four years ago the Ryanair boss cut him loose and Russell accepts that he had to take a hard look at himself back then.,

"Michael is a great man and a very important part of the sport. (It was) just one of those things. There is two reasons for it (the split) really," added Russell.

"I had to take some of the blame myself as well. I knew it at the time that it had as much to do with me as anything else. I had to change things and start afresh.

"Luckily enough Michael accepted that I was still capable of riding horses and he was happy to put mer back up on some of them."

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