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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 21 January 2021

Byrony Frost becomes the first female jockey to win King George

Big-race success for Bryony Frost as Paul Nicholls strikes for 12th time in St Stephen’s Day spectacular.

Byrony Frost and Frodon race to victory.
Byrony Frost and Frodon race to victory.
Image: PA

FRODON AND BRYONY Frost sprang a 20-1 shock to win the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton Park.

Frodon, previously successful under Frost at this Grade One level when they won the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year, was delivering a 12th victory in the St Stephen’s Day showpiece for trainer Paul Nicholls.

Of even greater significance was the fact that Frost became the first woman jockey to win the King George VI Chase – leading from start to finish to win one of the most prestigious races in the racing calendar.

“I have just won the King George!” said a tearful Frost. “I had absolutely the best time on him.

“He has just smashed everyone’s expectations. I don’t argue with him too much as he is his own personality.

“I cannot stress how much this horse means to me – he is my life. You dream as a little girl to ride a horse like this.”

Success in the race — worth €123,000 to the winner  also makes Frost the most successful female jockey over jumps.

“I talked to my brother in the United States last night and I said I was one away from being the woman jockey with the most winners over jumps.

“He said ‘how cool would it be to do it in the King George?’.”

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Frodon was the least fancied of Nicholls’s four runners with Clan des Obeaux, bidding for a third successive win in the race, finishing third.

Cyrname, who vied for favouritism with Clan des Obeaux, ran a dreadful race and was pulled up in the finishing straight, as was another Nicholls runner, Real Steel.

The aptly named Waiting Patiently came like a train under champion jockey Brian Hughes after the last of the 18 fences but Frost and Frodon managed to hold on winning by 2 1/4 lengths.  

Nicholls watched the race from the Royal Box — empty of its usual occupants, who like the rest of the usual 20,000 crowd at Kempton Park had to stay away due to coronavirus protocols — and pumped his fist in celebration.

He had commented ahead of the race that he did not see Frodon as a contender but conceded after his unexpected victory that the horse was a quirky character.

“I wasn’t expecting that although he’s a very good horse on his day and loves it round here,” Nicholls told broadcaster ITV.

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