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Top jockey returns to Ireland

Norman Williamson is to return to his Irish roots

Norman Williamson, among the star jump jockeys in Britain during the past decade, is to return to his native Ireland to ride principally for Co Tipperary trainer Edward O’Grady.

The 33-year-old rider, who completed the Cheltenham Gold Cup-Champion Hurdle double in 1995 on Master Oats and Alderbrook, says his change of direction is for business reasons.

He believes if he stayed in England, chasing winners all round the country, he would have two seasons left in him. But with less travelling in Ireland, he believes he could stay at the top for at least another four years.

Williamson is currently sidelined with the broken leg he sustained at Punchestown in April, but hopes to be back race-riding next month.

He has ridden 978 winners in England and believes that he can still top the 1,000 on his trips back here. He still wants to partner horses for his number one stable of Venetia Williams whenever he is available.

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