Bryony Frost hoping the dream lives on with Black Corton at Cheltenham

Mon 12 Mar 2018

By staff

Every fairytale has a happy ending and Bryony Frost hopes she is granted her own on Black Corton in the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday.

In what has been one of the success stories of the season, Frost will bid to claim an eighth win - and second at Grade One level - on the seven-year-old in the three-mile prize.

32Red Winter Festival - Kempton Park Frost and Black Corton have thrived this season (PA)

With a brace of course victories already in the bag aboard the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding, the 22-year-old is keeping her fingers crossed the hat-trick can be completed on the biggest stage of them all.

Frost said: "It's been such a road up to it with all the excitement and build up. It will be great arriving and getting in the car park at Cheltenham on the day.

"People are saying it has got to come to an end and I say if you can predict that you should go get yourself a lottery ticket.

"They will go harder and faster at Cheltenham, but he has won round there. His confidence within himself is high and I will ride him with confidence to give him every chance.

"It is cool that people are getting behind him now because of the way he goes about things and how he achieves it.

"I don't feel the pressure or anything for myself, but I feel it for him as I am just desperate to achieve success for him and make him even more of a superstar than he is."

Even for someone as enthusiastic as Frost, standing in the position she now finds herself in is something that could scarcely have been contemplated when the pair first teamed up at Worcester back in July.

She said: "He was my first ride and winner as a conditional and Paul was keen to get me on the right foot. I don't think I could have predicted his progress or where he was going, it just doesn't happen.

"The owners and Paul put faith in me and that particularly takes me back a bit, as it shows they have confidence in me. It is great to have that team behind me and see that something clicks between us. I am so proud of the little horse.

"When I rode him at Worcester, I didn't know what a 130-rated horse felt like. I'd sat on other horses, but they were small-engine cars so to get the opportunity to sit on this big engine was something different.

"I gave him a tap three out and he took off - I'd never had a feeling like that before. He has improved under his own steam and I've just gone along for the ride and just got him in the right place at the right time."

Others around Frost in the weighing room may possess more experience in the saddle, but she knows exactly what is required to triumph at the Festival having guided Black Corton's stablemate Pacha Du Polder to glory in last year's St James's Place Foxhunter Chase.

She said: "I think Pacha Du Polder was the best schoolmaster anyone could wish for. We had massive confidence in him. It was not just a dream, we thought it was realistic that he could win it.

"He was so brave and gave absolutely everything to me, beyond what he had to. I was proud of him for that.

2017 Cheltenham Festival - Gold Cup Day - Cheltenham Racecourse Frost won aboard Pacha Du Polder at the Festival last year (PA)

"You don't hear the roar of the crowd, just the wind in your ears and the horse breathing. Once you pull up, all the emotions come into you and you stop thinking about the race and then realise what has happened."

With her family roots entrenched in the sport, Frost hopes she can take on board the advice given to her as a youngster by her father, Grand National-winning rider turned trainer Jimmy, to make sure she achieves the best possible result and has no regrets whatever the outcome.

She said: "My concentration levels will just be focusing on how to get it right for him and there could be steam coming out of my helmet! I will be heartbroken if I mess it up.

"Dad always said as a kid 'ride like a demon' and I will be doing just that to make sure I achieve the best for Blacky. I don't think I will get another fairytale like him for sure. He has made me and I owe him now."

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