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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 19 October, 2017
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'I'll be going home a happy lad' - 17-year-old from Dingle gets Irish off to a flier at Cheltenham

Jack Kennedy on the 25-1 Labaik took the first at Prestbury Park.

IT MAY HAVE been a difficult run-up to the Festival, but Ireland are 1-0 up at Cheltenham.

17-year-old Jack Kennedy on Labaik won the first race of the week, the Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle.

Trained by Gordon Elliott, the grey six-year-old was a 50-1 shot this morning and went off at 25-1.

“Words can’t describe what it’s like,” Kennedy told ITV Racing. “I was probably a little bit far back but they went a good gallop. It couldn’t have gone any better.”

“It’s brilliant, it’s great. I’m over the moon with it,” he told Racing UK. “i’ll be going home a very happy lad at the end of the week now, whatever happens.”

Ruby Walsh on favourite Melon was beaten into second.

1. Labaik (25/1) Jack Kennedy/Gordon Elliott
2. Melon (3/1 jf) Ruby Walsh/Willie Mullins
3. River Wylde (8/1) Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville

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