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‘To feel the support of everyone here is huge’: hero’s welcome greets Bryony Frost after Tingle Creek success


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  • After a trying week for Bryony Frost  – which included a day being cross-examined in the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) hearing against Robbie Dunne, who she has accused of bullying and harassing her – she won the Grade One Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday (4 December), returning home to a hero’s welcome.

    Bryony was riding the seven-year-old Greaneteen, one of the rising stars of the two-mile division, and the pair gave trainer Paul Nicholls a remarkable 12th winner of the race, beating stable companion Hitman by 5½ lengths.

    Not surprisingly, the post-race media focus was all about the jockey rather than her mount and, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing hearing, she got a huge reception and three cheers from the Sandown crowd.

    “I can’t tell you what it means,” she said. “I was nearly in tears coming in. To feel the support of everyone here is huge and I could hardly talk to Alice [Plunkett, ITV Racing] coming in because I wanted to appreciate everybody! They appreciate me and I ride horses and it’s the best life. I can say I do that as a job and it’s a special place to be.”

    About the race, she added: “The ground out there is very testing, which was a concern of mine obviously from coming here at the end of April and winning [beating Altior in the Celebration Chase] on good ground. You had to think that that was our major factor and the biggest hindrance to us, but he settled very quickly.

    “There were a few moments down the back there on the fence along the side and he was right down on his nose. But he was a good boy and came back up. We were like a submarine emerging at that point and then turning in we had our stablemate [Hitman] right beside us.

    “We soared out over two out, we’ve come down to the last and found it and then from the back of the last I thought, ‘Oh God. This seems like it’s a mile long!’ But we found the line. In these big races sometimes you say it’s a relief and then it floods in like a waterfall; we won the Tingle Creek.”

    Paul Nicholls, who had been climbing the walls at home for 10 days after testing positive for Covid, said: “It has been a difficult week for Bryony, but she has handled it well and I don’t think any of us would like to be in that position. But when you come back in and ride a Grade One winner today, that says everything about her how professional she is.”

    He added: “We had no belief in Greaneteen last year, that’s probably half the problem. He was only beaten two lengths in this last year. I think he’s a better horse, but we’ve got belief in him now.”

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