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Female jockey makes history as British steeplechase longshot winner

By Jean Lotus
Female jockey makes history as British steeplechase longshot winner
British jockey Bryony Frost, pictured riding Silent Steps, won the King George VI Steeplechase race at Kempton on Saturday. File Photo by Peter Powell/EPA

Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Female jockey Bryony Frost made history and won a longshot victory in the British King George VI Chase at Kempton Saturday on Frodon, who was given 20-to-1 odds before the steeplechase race.

Frost credited eight-year-old Frodon for her success.

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"The mechanics, his athleticism, how he deals with his obstacles. You struggle to keep up with him because he's 10 strides ahead of you the whole time. My brain is constantly trying to keep up with him," Frost, 25, told the Guardian.

Frodon quickly pulled ahead of stablemate Clan Des Obeaux, the favorite and prior twice-time winner of the King George, and Waiting Patiently ridden by jockey Brian Hughes, which came in third and second respectively.

Frost and Frodon easily won the contest clearing 18 jumps and winning by more than 2 1/4 lengths.

The Boxing Day race with a $150,000 prize to the winner, was held under pandemic conditions with few spectators in the 20,000 seats at Kempton. Trainer Paul Nicholls sat in the empty Royal Box watching as two other horses from his stables, Cyrname and Real Steel, dropped behind Frodon.

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Nicholls said he was not expecting Frodon to win, "although he's a very good horse on his day and loves it round here," Nicholls said. "He's one of those horses you can never underestimate. He's tough and he's genuine. He likes a battle and he's beaten some good horses there fair and square."

Frost and Frodon first showed they were a winning team after victory in the 2019 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

"I cannot stress how much this horse means to me -- he is my life," Frost said of Frodon Saturday. "You dream as a little girl to ride a horse like this," she added.

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