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Bryony Frost lands brilliant Sandown double while Enrilo loses Gold Cup feature in stewards’ room

The King George hero Frodon triumphed again.

Bryony Frost riding Frodon on their way to winning The bet365 Oaksey Chase at Sandown Park.
Bryony Frost riding Frodon on their way to winning The bet365 Oaksey Chase at Sandown Park.
Image: PA

Updated Apr 24th 2021, 4:27 PM

BRYONY FROST ENJOYED a brilliant double at Sandown today with King George hero Frodon and then in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase on board Greaneteen.

There was drama later on as Enrilo for Harry Skelton lost the Gold Cup feature after a stewards’ enquiry as Potterman claimed a dramatic victory.

Frodon showed all his renowned battling qualities to end his season on a winning note in the Oaksey Chase. He had provided one of the stories of the season when winning at Kempton on Boxing Day and he was the 4-5 favourite today against just three rivals.

Frost had been out of action after a bad fall in the Grand National and only returned on Thursday – with a winner – but it would have taken something out of the ordinary to stop her from partnering her favourite horse.

As usual Frost set out to make all on the bold jumper – who was last seen finishing fifth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – but approaching the Pond Fence the final time none of the quartet could be ruled out.

When Militarian and Born Survivor cracked after that obstacle, Mister Fisher loomed up looking to be travelling much better under Nico de Boinville.

Nicky Henderson’s charge also got away from the last quicker, too – but if any horse mirrors champion trainer Paul Nicholls’ attitude it is Frodon as he simply would not accept defeat.

With a length to make up Frodon stuck his neck out and began gaining with every stride up the hill, eventually crossing the line a neck to the good.

Nicholls said: “It was a real challenge getting him ready for today because he took a hell of a lot out of himself at Cheltenham and had a hard race in the Gold Cup.

“I will, all being well, give him one run in the autumn before Kempton and then have a look at a race at the Dublin Festival because I think Leopardstown would suit him.”

bet365-jump-finale-sandown-park Bryony Frost riding Greaneteen on their way to winning the Celebration Chase. Source: PA

Greaneteen lowered the colours of Altior with a stylish success in the Celebration Chase.

Not beaten far into fourth in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, the seven-year-old showed he will be a real force to be reckoned with next season as he showed a very smart turn of foot.

Nico de Boinville adopted different tactics on 9-4 favourite Altior, who was wearing first-time cheekpieces. He shot into an early lead and on the way round put in some spectacular leaps.

Approaching the Pond Fence, though, Greaneteen and Sceau Royal both closed in to challenge and when De Boinville drifted off the rail, Bryony Frost did not need asking twice to take the invitation on Greaneteen.

Just 35 minutes after partnering Frodon to victory, Frost was full of confidence on the 13-2 shot who scampered clear.

Just like a true champion, Altior stuck to his task and was closing again at the line, but he was unable to match Paul Nicholls’ charge for speed at a crucial period of the race and went down by three and three-quarter lengths.

Harry Skelton and Nicholls – who were crowned champion jockey and trainer on the afternoon – were denied a dream end to the season when Enrilo lost the Gold Cup in the stewards’ room, with Potterman the beneficiary.

bet365-jump-finale-sandown-park Harry Skelton riding Enrilo (left) clears the last to win the Gold Cup Handicap Chase. Source: PA

It looked likely to be the perfect finale for both at Sandown as 7-2 favourite Enrilo made a bold bid for home with three to jump.

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Enrilo made a bit of a hash of the second-last, giving his pursuers another chance. They included El Presente, Potterman and Kitty’s Light, as Rachael Blackmore’s mount Plan Of Attack began to weaken having travelled well for a long way.

When Skelton – who picked up the trophy for being leading rider for the first time before racing – got a big leap out of Enrilo at the last he looked to have sealed the deal.

However, despite the champion jockey having his whip in his left hand, Enrilo veered badly away from the rail with serious consequences for Kitty’s Light.

Christian Williams’ five-year-old had worked up a real head of steam after the final fence and was making ground rapidly on Enrilo, only to be stopped in his tracks.

To Enrilo’s credit, once straightened he did pick up again to cross the line first, with Alan King’s 12-1 chance Potterman, on the far side, beaten three-quarters of a length and another short head back to Kitty’s Light in third.

As the disqualified horse has to be placed behind the one it interferes with, Potterman was awarded the race with Kitty’s Light second and Enrilo only third.

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