After what has been a very unusual festive period for most due to coronavirus restrictions, the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase today (26 December) delivered something of a Christmas fairytale result, with Frodon providing a somewhat surprising win under Bryony Frost (pictured).
Jumping off handily and dominating from start to finish, the pair defied their 20/1 starting price to land the Grade One at Kempton Park racecourse by 2¼ lengths.
“We’ve just won the King George!” Bryony exclaimed afterwards. “I’ve had the absolute best time going round on Frodon — he’s just smashed everyone’s expectations. What a Christmas present he has given his owners, Mr and Mrs Vogt.
“He’s what you dream of as a little girl — he was absolutely epic and I’m so grateful to Paul [Nicholls] for letting me ride Frodon.
“Paul’s travelling head girl said to me that he was in great form and I could not believe it coming to the line — I had to double check we weren’t meant to be going round again.”
This win meant that Bryony also surpassed the current record of the number of National Hunt winners ridden by a female jockey, and becomes the all-time leading female jump jockey.
“I talked to my brother, who is currently in the US last night and he said ‘how cool would it be if you broke the record on Frodon in the King George’,” Bryony explained.
This win also marked a 12th for trainer Paul Nicholls in this race, and he continues to be the winning-most trainer of the race.
“That was amazing and I wasn’t expecting it,” Paul admitted, with his more favoured runners, Clan Des Obeaux and Cyrname finishing sixth and pulled up respectively.
“Frodon loves it around here and my instructions to Bryony were to just go as quickly as she could and to keep jumping. I’ve done serious work with him over the past three weeks after he didn’t run particularly well in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree [5 December] and he’s thrived off it. What a remarkable horse he is.”
Owners Mr and Mrs Vogt were understandably delighted with the result.
“It’s amazing and we can’t believe it. He was up for it and he was never headed. What a surprise it was,” Mr Vogt explained.
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Waiting Patiently ran gallantly finishing second under champion jockey Brian Hughes for trainer Ruth Jefferson and owner Richard Collins. The result was a great training performance given that the nine-year-old was last seen on the track on 7 December 2019.
“Waiting Patiently’s owner has been amazing as he has had time off, but he’s just run his heart out. He ran absolute blinder of a race and has done nothing wrong,” said Ruth.
The 2018 and 2019 winner of this race, Clan Des Obeaux, who went off 85/40 favourite, finished third after he made a few mistakes. The disappointments of the race were Cyrname and Lostintranslation, who were both pulled up, while Santini finished a below-par fifth.
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