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Touch of Frost as Frodon's win goes down in history


Leading lady: Bryony Frost on her way to victory on Frodon (6) in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival yesterday
Leading lady: Bryony Frost on her way to victory on Frodon (6) in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival yesterday

By Robert Jones

Bryony Frost is quickly adapting to the role as the Frankie Dettori of National Hunt racing and her victory on Frodon in the Ryanair Chase catapulted her further into the limelight.

In doing so, she became the first woman to ride a Grade One winner over jumps at the Cheltenham Festival and justified Paul Nicholls' decision to skip the Gold Cup with the bold-jumping front-runner.

While Aso gained the advantage jumping the last, the 9-2 chance, as he has done so many times already, kept on finding up the Cheltenham hill to win by a length and a quarter.

Frost said: "My God, he jumps and just at that minute when he got overtaken, most horses would quit, but he grabbed me by the hands and said, 'don't you dare give up, don't you dare not send me into the last - I want this more than you, now come on, where are you?'

"Just look at what he's done there - deny that he just loves racing. He's unbelievable.

"He just made the dream come true, it's just incredible. He will deserve every single high five, pat and carrot."

Trainer Nicholls said: "That was awesome, I've lost my voice a bit. She (Frost) deserves it.

"He hasn't been easy to get right, I knew he had to be 120 per cent, and in the middle of last week, me and Clifford (Baker, head lad) felt he was a gallop short so we took him to Wincanton on Friday and that put the finishing touches on him."

Another popular winner was Paisley Park in the Stayers' Hurdle.

Emma Lavelle's seven-year-old - whose owner Andrew Gemmell has been blind from birth - had enjoyed a perfect season to date with four impressive victories, which saw punters send him off at 11-8.

With former champion hurdler Faugheen in the field he faced his stiffest test to date, but Paisley Park survived a last-flight blunder to account for last year's beaten favourite Sam Spinner by two and three-quarter lengths, with Faugheen only third.

It was the biggest win of jockey Aidan Coleman's career.

Lavelle said of her winner, whose life had been threatened by an attack of colic two years ago: "He's delivered for us the whole season and he's done it again. I'm thrilled.

"I think it's probably unlikely he'll go chasing (next season). He's good, so let's enjoy him over hurdles and he's only seven.

"I'm just delighted he's done it and he's a young horse going forward."

Lizzie Kelly got her name on the winner's board after steering Siruh Du Lac to victory in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate.

Not unlike Frodon, the 9-2 shot set the pace while jumping accurately and he had enough in reserve to hold 3-1 favourite Janika at bay by three-quarters of a length.

Kelly - who also enjoyed a winner at last year's Festival on Coo Star Sivola in the Ultima - said: "Last year there was so much subtext. I was so emotional. This time I just turned in and thought, 'dear God we are going to do it again'.

"I was nervous as I didn't want to muck it up. I definitely could get used to this for sure."

The Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil (3-1 favourite) got the better of old rival Lostintranslation to claim the JLT Novices' Chase - the first of three winners on the card for owner JP McManus.

Hobbs said: "He has been phenomenal and our flagship horse for a bit now. He is the most amazing horse, as he is so tough, loves the job and is so sound. It's just great."

McManus also won the following Pertemps Final with the 4-1 favourite Sire Du Berlais, trained by Gordon Elliott.

The leading owner's treble was completed in the Kim Muir as the brilliant amateur Derek O'Connor delivered Ted Walsh's Any Second Now (6-1) with a perfectly-timed challenge.

Willie Mullins won the Mares' Novices' Hurdle for the fourth straight year, this time with 50-1 shot Eglantine Du Seuil nailing 66-1 stablemate Concertista on the line.

In the immediate aftermath, winning jockey Noel Fehily announced his impending retirement from the saddle.

Belfast Telegraph


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