Jack Kennedy back in business with Tipperary winner

Jack Kennedy registered his first victory since returning from a lengthy injury lay-off aboard I A Connect in the equuip – A Leg Up For Thoroughbred People Beginners Chase at Tipperary.

Kennedy broke his leg for a fifth time in a fall at Naas back in January, with the 24-year-old only returning to action at Cartmel on Sunday.

With Davy Russell’s retirement, Kennedy had not long assumed the role as clear number one for Gordon Elliott before sustaining the injury, which forced him to miss the Dublin Racing Festival in February as well as Cheltenham, Aintree, Fairyhouse and Punchestown in the spring.

Teaming up with the Elliott-trained I A Connect (4-1), Kennedy and his mount survived a bit of a sticky jump at the penultimate obstacle before eventually fending off Walnut Beach by a head in a thrilling finish.

Kennedy said: “That was brilliant and I’m delighted. He pecked a bit at the back of second-last, but he stays and probably wants further than that.

“I sent him on early as all he does is stay and to be fair to him he stuck his head out and battled.”

Kennedy admitted he had been unsure how he would feel on his second day back, but is now eagerly awaiting the Galway Festival at the end of the month.

He added: “I’m better today than I thought and had a good blowout at Cartmel on Sunday.

“I started back riding out six weeks ago, had three rides at Cartmel and have three today. Touch wood, the leg feels good.

“I didn’t put myself under any pressure to be back for the spring festivals, gave it more time then and I’m looking forward to Galway now.”

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