Bryony Frost Bryony Frost is the daughter of Grand National-winning jockey Jimmy Frost, but has wasted little time in making her own mark on the world of National Hunt racing. This quickly sparked predictions for Grand National success in some quarters. In March, 2017, at the age of 21, Bryony Frost rode Pacha Du Polder, trained by Paul Nicholls, to a neck victory over stable companion Wonderful Charm in the St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. In April, 2018, on her first ride in the Grand National she finished fifth on Milansbar, trained by her other principal benefactor, Neil King.

The following November, Bryony Frost rode Marienstar, also trained by King, to an easy victory in the Weatherbys General Stud Book Mares’ Handicap Chase at Kempton. In so doing, she achieved 75 wins as a conditional jockey, becoming just the second woman, after Lucy Alexander, to do so. Like Lucy Alexander, Bryony Frost became champion conditional jockey, for the 2018/19 season with 49 winners. Along the way, she won the Ryanair Chase at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival on Frodon, trained by Paul Nicholls, thus becoming the first woman to win a Grade One event over hurdles or fences at the March showpiece meeting.

As a fully-fledged professional jockey, Bryony Frost – who, we should remember, is not yet 25 years old – has continued to prosper. At the time of writing, in the 2019/20 National Hunt season so far, she has ridden 31 winners, most of which have been supplied by Neil King, from 249 rides at a strike rate of 13% and earned total prize money in excess of £433,000. Recent highlights include another victory on Frodon, in the

Unibet Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton, in January, 2020. After a bold, front-running display, Bryony Frost was quick to praise Frodon, saying, ‘They are elite athletes, so for him to come back within three runs off that Ryanair shows you he is a tough cookie.’

Bryony Frost isn’t finished with this year yet either; not by a long shot. She’ll be on Yala Enki in 2020 Aintree Grand National. While one eye is on a potential record breaker (three Grand National wins in a row) for Tiger Roll, let’s not forget that if the 30-1 shot manages to clinch the win, Bryony will be the first ever woman jockey to have won the National. That would be a remarkable achievement, even given that she does come from a racing family.

Trainer Paul Nicholls isn’t shy of singing the horses praises “”Yala Enki’s very much like Neptune Collonges as he’s a real stayer with a touch of class. He’s run well over three and a half miles at Haydock and he’s a similar type of horse. Bryony rides him well and gets on well with him, she suits him.”

Frosts career in racing is clearly going from strength to strength and so nothing would surprise me at this point. She’s getting the opportunities she deserves and those around her clearly have faith in her ability. The very best of luck to her on Saturday 4th April.

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Tony McCoy Sir Anthony Peter McCoy, knighted in 2016 for services to horse racing, but known to the racing public as ‘Tony’ or ‘A.P.’ was, by any objective measure, not only the greatest National Hunt jockey of his generation, but the greatest National Hunt jockey of all time.

 

Born and bred in Co. Antrim, McCoy rode his first winner in Britain on Chickabiddy, trained by Gordon Edwards, in a handicap hurdle at Exeter on September 7, 1994, and at the end of the 1994/95 season became Champion Conditional Jockey. Thereafter, McCoy rode more winners than any other National Hunt jockey in Britain in each of the next 20 seasons or, in other words, in every season until his retirement in April, 2015. Famously tall for a jockey, at 5’10”, testament to his dedication to his profession is the fact that, on the day he retired, at the age of 40, he still weighed only 10st 2lb and had the body fat percentage of a typical elite athlete.

 

Surprisingly, McCoy never won the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but won the Champion Hurdle three times, on Make A Stand in 1997, Brave Inca in 2006 and Binocular in 2010, the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Edredon Bleu in 2000 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice, on Mr. Mulligan in 1997 and Sychronised in 2012. Away from the Festival, he famously won the Grand National, at the fifteenth attempt, on Don’t Push It in 2010.

 

McCoy enjoyed a fruitful association with Martin Pipe, winning the jockeys’ title in nine consecutive season while stable jockey at Pond House, before his decision to leave in 2004. In 2001/02, McCoy rode 289 winners – including 189 for Pipe – and broke the all-time record (269) for the most winners in a season, previously held by Sir Gordon Richards. In August, 2002, he became the most successful National Hunt jockey, numerically, in history, with 1,700 winners, one more than his predecessor at Pond House, Richard Dunwoody, in half the time and two-thirds of the number of rides.

 

McCoy left Pond House for what he described as the ‘new challenge’ of riding for Jonjo O’Neill at Jackdaws Castle, but accepted a huge retainer – rumoured to be anything up to £1 million a year – from John Patrick ‘J.P.’ McManus, owner of the state-of-the-art training facility, to ride in his familiar green and gold hooped silks. McCoy kept the retainer for the rest of his career and retired with 4,348 winners – 4,204 of them in Britain – and his financial future secure.

Richard Dunwoody Belfast-born Thomas Richard Dunwoody MBE, who retired from race-riding, on medical advice, in December, 1999, after a long-term neck injury, which led to a loss of strength in his right arm, was aggravated by a series of falls, was one of the most celebrated National Hunt jockeys of his generation. He began riding, as an amateur, for the late Tim Forster at Old Manor House Stables, near Wantage, in the Vale of the White Horse, in 1982 and rode his first winner in Britain, Game Trust, at Cheltenham the following May.

 

In his first season as a professional, in 1984/85, Dunwoody rode 46 winners and must surely have gone close to winning the Grand National on the favourite, West Tip, trained by Michael Oliver, had the 8-year-old not fallen, when travelling conspicuously well, at Becher’s Brook on the second circuit. In any event, in 1986, by which time Dunwoody had become stable jockey to the late David Nicholson, but was released from his retainer on Port Askaig – who parted company with Graham McCourt at the first fence – to ride West Tip, the partnership set the record straight, winning the National by 2 lengths and 20 lengths from Young Driver and Classified.

 

Dunwoody won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Charter Party, trained by Nicholson, in 1988 and the Champion Hurdle on Kribensis, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, in 1990. In 1989, he also began his association with Desert Orchid, trained by David Elsworth, on whom he would win seven races, including the King George VI Chase twice, in 1989 and 1990.

 

For all his early success, though, Dunwoody did not win the jockeys’ title for the first time until 1992/93, by which time he had succeeded Peter Scudamore as stable jockey to Martin Pipe. That season he rode 175 winners and retained the title in 1993/94 and 1994/95, with 197 and 160 winners, respectively.

 

In 1994, Dunwoody won the Grand National again, on Miinnehoma, trained by Pipe and owned by Liverpool comedian Freddie Star. That year, the race for the jockeys’ title featured an engaging, head-to-head battle between Dunwoody and the 23-year-old Adrian Maguire, who had replaced him as stable jockey to David Nicholson. Despite being banned from riding for 14 days – which included the Cheltenham Festival, in its entirety – on March 2, after being found guilty of deliberately obstructing a horse ridden by his arch rival, Dunwoody, with the resources of Pipe at his disposal, won the jockeys’ title by a score of 197-194.

 

At the end of his career, Dunwoody had ridden 1,874 winners, including 1,699 on British soil and, like his predecessor at Pond House Stables, become the most successful jockey, numerically, in the history of British National Hunt racing.