(Reuters) – Irish jockey Ruby Walsh set himself up for next week’s Cheltenham Festival on Thursday by winning his first race back after breaking a leg in a fall last November.

FILE PHOTO – Britain Horse Racing – Cheltenham Festival – Cheltenham Racecourse – 16/3/17 Ruby Walsh celebrates with the trophy after winning the 3:30 Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle on Nichols Canyon Reuters / Stefan Wermuth Livepic

The 38-year-old, who has been leading rider 11 times at the festival, took the Willie Mullins-trained favourite Lareena to victory by five lengths in the Maiden Hurdle at Thurles in Ireland.

Cheltenham starts on Tuesday with Walsh, who has ridden 56 winners there and been leading jockey for the past five years, due to be in action from the first day on Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle.

“I have one ride at Leopardstown tomorrow and what happens over the next few days I’ll let Willie decide, he’s my boss again now,” Walsh, who broke his right leg at Punchestown on Nov. 18, told Racing UK.

“I don’t mind really. When you’re back, you’re back.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis


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