Frost’s King George win caps big year for female jockeys
Celebrating her Kempton victory: Bryony Frost
Bryony Frost capped a sensational year for female jockeys by becoming the first to win the King George VI Chase, one of the premier races in the National Hunt calendar.
Her Boxing Day victory at Kempton came courtesy of the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old Frodon, a 20/1 chance whom she had ridden to victory at the Cheltenham Festival last year.
The win gave Frost her 175th career win, making her the most successful female National Hunt jockey of all-time.
Frost’s Kempton milestone followed a year of notable successes for female riders. Flat racing’s Hollie Doyle has ridden the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey including a Champions Day double at Ascot – including her first Group One aboard Glen Shiel in the British Champions Sprint.
Earlier this month Doyle became the first female to ride a winner in the Longines International Jockeys Championship in Hong Kong.
Topping a big year for Doyle, she was third in the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, having already been voted the Sports Journalists’ Association Sportswoman of the Year and Flat Jockey of the Year at the HWPA Derby Awards.
Frost, speaking of her victory on Frodon, said: “He’s what you dream of as a little girl – absolutely epic.”
Nicholls added: “Bryony is good for the sport, like Hollie (Doyle) is good for the Flat. She rides very well and rides big winners.
“She’s unflappable and listens.”
Frodon led from the start in the three-mile race and held off the fast-finishing Waiting Patiently (12-1), ridden by Brian Hughes, to give trainer Nicholls his 12th King George win.
Hat-trick-chasing Clan Des Obeaux, the 85-40 favourite also trained by Nicholls, was third.