Bryony Frost is about to embark on a crucial stage in her career, and perhaps for female jockeys in jumps horse racing. The 25-year-old has already enjoyed a breakthrough at Cheltenham Festival, winning the Ryanair Chase with Frodon in 2019. However, she took a larger step forward with her charge at the end of 2020, triumphing in the 2020 King George VI Chase at Kempton Park.
Frost has made major strides for women in the sport but could be on course for a landmark moment, given the form of Frodon and her other outstanding competitor Yala Enki. Frodon has to win the prestigious Gold Cup, which would see her become the first female jockey to win the event.
Frost has already been a trailblazer for women at Cheltenham when Frodon has already recorded one victory at Cheltenham in the current campaign, defeating a talented field in the Handicap Chase in October. . It would be fitting for her to secure the ultimate triumph with the bay gelding, having already accomplished so much with the horse trained by Paul Nicholls.
He did take a step back at Aintree in the Many Clouds Chase when he was well off the pace of Lake View Lad. However, Frodon proved his class with a , and is a rightful contender for the Gold Cup should Nicholls press his charge into action in the race rather than the Ryanair Chase again.
Frost’s quest to make history will certainly not end at the Gold Cup. The 25-year-old also has an excellent chance to win the Grand National – that would see her become the first female jockey to win the world’s most famous horse race. Katie Walsh came close to achieving the feat in 2012 on the back of Seabass. Frost herself also put forward a solid performance in 2018 on Milansbar, although her charge could not compete with the speed of the legendary Tiger Roll.
Yala Enki could enable Frost to triumph at Aintree due to the chemistry between horse and rider. The French thoroughbred has reeled off three third-place finishes in a row at the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow, ending the 2021 contest three-and-a-quarter lengths off the pace of the winner the Secret Reprieve. Frost and the 11-year-old then put down a brilliant performance to win the Portman Cup Chase at Taunton. The field featured contenders for the 2021 Grand National – notably IfTheCapFits and RockTheKasbah.
If Yala Enki can produce a similar standard of performance at Aintree, Frost would become the first female jockey to win the National. The 25-year-old has strong family ties given that her father – Jimmy – won the race in 1989 on the back of Little Polveir. There’s a huge opportunity ahead of Frost in 2021 to match the accomplishments of her father, increase her burgeoning reputation on the circuit and fly the flag for women jockeys in jumps racing.