If ever there was a match made in heaven then it has to be Frodon and his jockey Bryony Frost. Not content to make history once by being the first female jockey to win the Ryanair Chase, the duo have now added the King George VI Chase to their roster of victories.
To say it was an unexpected win is an understatement. Frodon was nowhere near a top fancy for the race, which took place on Boxing Day at Kempton.
Even trainer Paul Nicholls considered him the least likely of his four runners to make an impact. And with the likes of Cyrname, Real Steel, and two-time King George winner, Clan Des Obeaux in the mix, who could blame him.
The King George Odds
Bookies had Frost and Frodon best priced at 25/1 earlier in the day. They didn’t go off on odds much better than that and were a general 20/1. The likes of Santini and Lostintranslation were of course much shorter and for good reason. Frodon had only ever won one Grade 1 and on paper, the competition looked like it would get the better of him.
However, punters who do their research including those who look for a good poker betting guide, always knew that given the right conditions, Frodon and Bryony Frost could run a great race. They made all the running from the get-go. In fact, at no point did they relinquish their lead.
Frost had to give him a little shakeup before three out, but solid jumping, especially at the last fence gave them enough of a lead so that despite a last push from Waiting Patiently, the pair had the edge on the run-in.
Frost Makes History Again
A clearly delighted Frost also became the most successful female jumps jockey of all time with that win, her 175th.
She said of her win: “I still can’t believe that me and Frodon can class ourselves a King George-winning pair.
“To me, though, I’ve won a King George on Frodon for Paul and the team and that is the big thing, regardless of the girl stuff, the winners and history.”
Gold Cup 2021
So what now for Bryony Frost and Frodon? It looks like the Cheltenham Gold Cup is on the cards and the bookies have been quick to drop the price to 12/1 antepost.
That puts him on a par with Champ and Santini but not quite low enough to be the current favourite. That honour goes to double Gold Cup winner, Al Boum Photo.
Trained by Irish Champion trainer, Willie Mullins, Al Boum Photo looks like he will be sticking to his usual Cheltenham prep season. That includes a run out at Tramore on New Year’s Day.
And based on previous seasons, that is the only time we will see him before he goes for his third Gold Cup win in March.
So can Frodon seriously challenge in the Gold Cup? Paul Nicholls said after the King George: “He’s beaten some very good horses there fair and square and that form puts him right in the Gold Cup picture.
“He loves Cheltenham, he is better there than anywhere and he keeps surprising everyone.”
It is unlikely that he will race again before the big day on Friday, March 19th 2021, but one thing is for sure, if these horses can bring their A-game once again then we are all in for one heck of a race.