- Bryony delighted with Frodon win at Wincanton
- Discusess where he'll go next
- Previews rides at Lingfield on Tuesday
Frodon is a beast!
What a day.
I've had some amazing times with Frodon and I've been lucky enough to win a Ryanair, a King George and a Down Royal Champion Chase on him. The Badger Beer isn't a Grade 1 of course, but his win there was extra special in so many ways that in some respects it stands pretty much alone among all of his wins.
For a start, it's pretty much the first time in a big race when we were expected to win. He was the best horse in the race and clear favourite, with lots going for us, and to some, the race was his to lose. There was no other horse in the race with a trophy cabinet anything like his.
It was also the first time we'd raced since I started riding him every day at home, so that was a whole new pressure, and it was also the first time he'd seen the new white fences on the racecourse.
The home crowd was a huge thing for us too. He's such a popular horse, and I met people who had come all the way from Newcastle to see him, because tickets can be quite difficult to get when he races at the festival meetings.
He's got such a fan club that even in the pre-parade there were lots of people there wishing him luck.
The support he had was just magic, and I get goosebumps just thinking about it. He thrives off it, and he's once again the kingpin at Ditcheat, with everyone making a fuss of him, giving him Polos and carrots and so on. Everyone was so proud of him.
Cantering down to the start he was so full of himself that I was thinking the others are going to need extra speedy shoes on to get past him.
He pulled my arms out and took me on to the golf course, so I have to apologise for the divots he left. He slipped in the false start, but that might not have been a bad thing because he's intelligent enough to have realise,that it was slippery and he needed to be sensible.
I guess the other riders were all trying to work out how they could beat us, but although it took us a few fences to get comfortable the race couldn't have gone much better. By the time we started down the back the second time he was in that rhythm he gets into, and really piling on the pressure.
Turning in he slipped into top gear without even being asked, and that feeling he gives at full throttle is just unbelievable. He won with his ears pricked and I was able to give a salute of appreciation as we passed the post.
He's a people's horse, and anyone watching on TV will have seen the amazing reception he was given when he came back into the winner's enclosure. So many people relate to him for so many different reasons.
The whole occasion was awesome and mum and dad were there too, which made it very special for me. Dad nearly pulled me off the back of him as we came in!
Frodon has eaten up well since and he's come out of the race in A1 condition, which is a relief with any horse, let alone one as precious as Frodon. All roads lead to Boxing Day at Kempton now, where we will bid to repeat our win in the King George two years ago. Bring it on!
Knapper's Hill looked sharp
It was a fantastic weekend for owner Mr Vogt and his family too, as they had another good win with Knapper's Hill later on the card and then also won with Halo Des Obeaux at Sandown on Sunday. Those silks are on fire at the moment! I was so chuffed for them.
It's back to bread and butter racing now, but I'm delighted to be going to Lingfield on Tuesday for a really busy afternoon, with five rides for three different stables - provided the meeting passes a 7.30 inspection.
I start off with Kadex for Lucy Wadham in the At The Races App Market Movers Handicap Hurdle (1.30). He's a quality little horse and I don't think he appreciated the ground at Worcester, which was very tacky. He's still learning and we are still getting to know him, but I wasn't discouraged. The ground at Lingfield should be wet, rather than holding, and I'm hoping he'll enjoy that better.
Revasser, another of Lucy's, goes for the Chris Young Memorial "National Hunt" EBF Novices' Hurdle (Qualifier) (2.30). He's a lovely big horse and this looks a good place to start him off for the season and get those wheels turning.
Another Mystery, my third ride for Lucy, runs in the At The Races App Form Study Novices' Handicap Chase (3.00), and I'm confident he'll run a big race. The track should suit him much better than Fakenham, and I'm hoping he goes well.
Keen to get on board Barbado Buc
I'm particularly looking forward to riding Barbados Buck's for Paul (Nicholls) in the Sharon Knapp Memorial Cup Handicap Hurdle (3.30). I won on him at Southwell a couple of seasons ago, and he went on to run in the Albert Bartlett at The Festival last year, so he's a horse with a lot of quality.
He's a very good jumper, but he can just lack a bit of confidence over fences, which is why he's back over hurdles. He stays very well, and with the stable going so well he's got to have a chance off that weight. He's got the talent.
My last ride is Cheng Chong for Neil King in the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap Hurdle (4.00). I was second on him in heavy ground at Lingfield in December, so he has to have a chance too.
Fingers crossed then that racing gets the go-ahead and that there's a winner or two among them.