Jumping Jack reigns supreme

Two Kerry jockeys rode opening day winners at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday, with 17-year old Jack Kennedy from Dingle claiming his first winner at the famous meeting.

"Words can't describe what it's like," Kennedy told ITV Racing, after winning the Festival's opening race aboard 25/1 shot Labaik in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle for trainer Gordon Elliott.

"It couldn't have gone any better. I always enjoyed watching it and it's great to get a taste of it. Everyone wants more, but I'll be going home a very happy lad at the end of the week now, however things go. It's brilliant."

Kennedy was coolness personified on the grey six-year-old to beat compatriot and 3-1 favourite Melon, ridden by Ruby Walsh, into second place.

Meanwhile, Tralee's Bryan Cooper brought his brilliant form to the Cotswolds to complete a Kerry double when he won the OLBG Mares Hurdle aboard Apple's Jade, to give Elliott his second of three winners.

Cooper got the 7/2 shot home a length and half clear of second favourite Vroum Vroum Mag.

Cooper said: "Gordon's a genius and I'm very lucky to ride for him."


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