Cheltenham 2018: Who is Bryony Frost? The remarkable rise of Black Corton jockey

It is little wonder that those in charge of racing’s public image have hitched tightly to Bryony Frost’s coat-tails this winter.Bright, thoughtful and articulate, it takes just a few minutes in Frost’s company to be drawn closer to a sport she describes as her “obsession” – and it is equally easy to realise what an asset she can be.But to those inclined to label her as a convenient billboard, a passing fad who ticks the right boxes including, of course, the one marked ‘female’, it is worth making the point that Frost can ride as well.And just how well the wider world may be about to see.At Cheltenham this week, in the load-testing intensity of the Festival and against the best jockeys and horses from either side of the Irish Sea, this 22-year-old is aiming to prove it aboard Black Corton.

The pair will line up for the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase on Wednesday after seven wins in eight races, with a leading chance of Frost landing her first Festival victory as a professional. If she succeeds – and bookies are offering 7-1 about Frost’s chances – it will cap the season of her dreams.Frost is the daughter of Grand National-winning jockey Jimmy, who rode Little Polveir to victory at Aintree in 1989, and comes from a family steeped in the sport.Schooldays in Buckfastleigh in Devon were spent waiting for the bell before rushing home to ride her ponies – Frost was a multiple Devon and Cornwall pony racing champion as well as a junior international showjumper – and her first taste of riding a racehorse came on the morning of her ninth birthday.“I remember my feet barely came past the saddle flap to the first buckle,” she said.“An unforgettable experience.”Since then, Frost has only ever wanted to race, and while last year she rode Pacha Du Polder to victory in the Foxhunter at Cheltenham as an amateur, this season she has raced against the best. Judged on her skirmishes so far, Frost will not be found wanting this week.She has already claimed several big Saturday winners – Black Corton, Present Man, Milansbar and Frodon – and netted more than £500,000 in prize money.

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