Bryony Frost made history on Boxing Day by becoming the first female jockey to win the King George VI Chase at Kempton aboard the gutsy 20/1 shot Frodon.
The celebrations for Frost were actually twofold because not only did she become the first female rider to win the famous Christmas time Grade One contest, but she also passed Lucy Alexander’s total of 174 career victories to become the winning-most female jump jockey in Great Britain – ever!
Frost and Frodon had already set a landmark at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, by winning the Grade One Ryanair Chase together, and this felt like a natural progression.
Perhaps they can crown all these milestones off now by taking the ultimate chasing prize in March- the Cheltenham Gold Cup, for which they are a general 16/1 chance?
For trainer Paul Nicholls, it was his 12th King George in total, in a race where he saddled four runners including the two-time winner Clan Des Obeaux and Cyrname, the highest-rated chaser in training.
His so called “third-string” Real Steel was pulled up, but it was his outsider of his four Frodon, that led them all a merry dance to cap off the most peculiar of years.
Kempton’s Boxing Day Round-Up
Earlier in the afternoon, the Evan Williams-trained Silver Streak beat Epatante, the current Champion Hurdler, in the Christmas Hurdle.
Epatante had been sent off as short as 1/5, but it was Silver Streak and jockey Adam Wedge who jumped with precision from the get go and were never caught.
Epatante and jockey Aidan Coleman tried to get on terms, but when they did get fairly close to the grey, Silver Streak went away again to win by six and a half lengths in total.
The Champion Hurdle ante-post market reacted by putting Epatante out to a best priced 11/4 with the Betfair Sportsbook, while Silver Streak is now a top-priced 12/1 with several bookmakers.
I Should Be So Lucki
Third Time Lucki was cut to 16/1* for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by bet365 after romping home in the opener.
Trainer Dan Skelton said he will consult with owners Mike and Eileen Newbould first before committing to anything.
The Emma Lavelle-trained Killer Clown continued his steady progression since his unfortnate unseat at Uttoxeter by taking the extended two-and-a-half-mile Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.
There should be more to come from him later in this season and he should be in all horse trackers.
I’m Blue (Da ba dee)
Shan Blue ran out a decisive winner in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase and may well be entered in both the Marsh Novices’ Chase and RSA at The Festival.
The six-year-old was winning his third race in succession and he looks an ideal candidate for the Marsh Chase, for which he is a best-priced 16/1 prospect with bet365*.
Count on Him
The Nicky Henderson-trained longshot Monte Cristo prevailed in Kempton’s finale to give the Seven Barrows handler a little bit of Christmas cheer on what had be a poor afternoon for him results wise.
Welsh National Re-Scheduled
Atrocious weather and heavy overnight rain led to the unfortunate and untimely cancelation of Chepstow’s Welsh Grand National Day card on Sunday. However it was not all doom and gloom as the fixture has now been rescheduled for January 9th 2021.
The Welsh venue had already been hit by 100mm of rain at the start of the week but when a further 27mm of rainfall was dumped on the track overnight, the Clerk had no option but to declare the meeting unfit for racing.
Clerk of the course Libby O’Flaherty told the racing news outlets later on Sunday morning that: “We’ve rescheduled for January 9. It should be like-for-like but we are just waiting for official confirmation that the card will be exactly the same.”
Should he keep his entry, the Lucinda Russell-trained Big River is an interesting contender at odds of 20/1 with Betfair. The ten-year-old stays all day and is the type that can pick them all off late in the piece.
* Betting odds quoted were correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to change