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Ruby Walsh returns with winner ahead of Cheltenham

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London (AFP)

Irish jockey Ruby Walsh returned from a four-month injury layoff with victory on favourite Lareena at Thurles in Ireland on Thursday, just days before the Cheltenham Festival gets underway.

The 38-year-old broke his leg at Punchestown last November, and saw his return delayed by bad weather last weekend.

Walsh, who has won more races at the Cheltenham Festival than any other rider, cruised to a five-length win in the maiden hurdle, beating 6-4 second-favourite Awayinthewest.

He will partner former winner Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday as the festival gets underway, looking to topple odds-on favourite Buveur d'Air.

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