History will record Bryony Frost as the first woman to ride a Grade One winner over jumps at the Cheltenham Festival – but what she reaffirmed on Thursday is the fact she is simply just a very, very good jockey.
Frost has proved time and again that her gender is irrelevant to her efforts in the saddle, and with Frodon’s success in the Ryanair Chase, the 23-year-old really cemented her position towards the head of the riding ranks.
Since bursting on to the scene with Pacha Du Polder in the 2017 Foxhunter Chase, Frost has established herself as a firm favourite among racing fans of all ages, with her enthusiasm and passion for the sport proving infectious to many.
Frost hails from a racing family. Her father Jimmy was a Grand National-winning rider with Little Polveir in 1989 and now trains in Devon, while her brother Hadden also had a successful career in the saddle, including a Cheltenham Festival winner.
She honed her skills on the pony racing circuit before graduating to the point-to-point field and taking out her amateur licence, which saw her gain that first Festival success two years ago.
It has been a rapid upwards trajectory for Frost since that victory, turning professional in July 2017 and striking up an incredibly fruitful relationship with trainer Paul Nicholls.
The Ditcheat handler duly provided Frost with a first Grade One win via 2017 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase hero Black Corton – a horse she built up an enviable rapport with to win seven races in the 2017/18 season.
Frost’s ability to establish such relationships with her mounts is something of her hallmark, with Frodon another who seemingly gels with a rider who refers to horses as her “mates”.
While Frost has seemingly trod a golden path, it has not been all sunshine and rainbows with the rider spending a prolonged period on the sidelines last summer after a fall at Newton Abbot in July.
A cracked sternum, broken T7 and fractured T8 vertebrae, lacerated pancreas, liver aneurysm and internal damage saw her on the sidelines until October, but Frost wasted little time in getting back into the swing of things, riding out her claim the following month.
She has hardly looked back since though, and her victory aboard Frodon in the Cotswold Chase at the Cheltenham trials meeting back in January fired Gold Cup dreams.
While ultimately that was not to be this year, Frost appeared more than happy to settle for Ryanair Chase gold.
With Rachael Blackmore also riding a leading chance in Monalee in that race, hot on the heels of her opening-day victory on A Plus Tard, and Lizzie Kelly chalking up a second Festival win on Siruh Du Lac, 2019 must go down as the year equality really came to Prestbury Park.