Ruby Walsh has returned to the saddle after an extended layoff with a broken leg, winning his race int he process.

Atop Lareena (a Willie Mullins horse), Walsh won the 3:15 at Thurles in what was his first race since November.

The 38-year-old had sustained the injury after a fall whilst racing at Punchestown.

Harry Trump/Getty Images Sport

Walsh has been the top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival eleven times in his career, including nine of the last ten years.

With a return to the Festival always the target for the Irishman, he will feel especially pleased top have had the opportunity for a ride before he settles in for the biggest week in racing.

Accustomed to the ‘Cheltenham roar’, Walsh’s week will begin on Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle, on the opening day of the Festival.

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