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Former champion conditional Sexton back in business at Clonmel

Kevin Sexton rode his first winner since returning from a positive test for a metabolite of cocaine at the Galway summer festival 2016
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Kevin Sexton has had to wait a little while to ride his first winner back since testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine last summer, but finally got there on Thursday evening as Guitar George won the opening maiden hurdle at Clonmel.

The wait was extended by a stewards' enquiry after Guitar George was first past the post, but the result stood and the former champion conditional was able to enjoy a first success since November 20 last year.

A visibly delighted Sexton said: "This is just brilliant. I've been knocking on the door with a few rides since returning and I was hoping that I'd get one soon enough – it's a great feeling."

The Troytown Chase-winning rider of 2014 received a two-year suspension - the final 18 months deferred - towards the end of last year, but there were smiles all around after an anxious wait at Powerstown Park.

"He stuck his head out but was just falling against me as we came down the straight" explained Sexton. "I'd say he was spotting the stableyard or something but he was never going to be beaten."

The winner proved popular with punters, having been widely available to back at 12-1 in the hour before the off, returning at half those odds for trainer Henry de Bromhead.

Sexton added: "It's very sweet to get this one and I'm delighted to get the opportunity to ride one for someone like Henry."

This is just brilliant. I've been knocking on the door with a few rides since returning and I was hoping that I'd get one soon enough

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