Superstar jockey Bryony Frost reveals her thoughts on Grand National hopeful Yala Enki, Unibet Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle winner Sir Psycho and describes her relationship with the staying chasers at Paul Nicholls’ yard.
Yala Enki was sent off an 11/4 favourite for The Unibet Grand National Trial but the ten-year-old did not quite get home finishing third behind the Richard Hobson trained, Lord Du Mesnil and the 33/1 winner Smooth Stepper.
Frost returned to the weighing room heavily mud splattered saying: “He just got a bit tired, that’s all that was. He has run a massive race for me”.
Yala Enki had a busy summer, having wind surgery in August, before moving to Paul Nicholls’ Ditcheat base from Venetia Williams stable.
Frost has quickly become fond of him and believes he is a smart horse,” He is intelligent into a fence you know, I just let him come in and pop it. He is an extremely intelligent horse like that, and I love riding him.”
Owned by the Hills of Ledbury Ltd, he is one of six entries for the Champion trainer in the Grand National.
Frost believes Yala Enki can improve for the Aintree showpiece, “April is a long way away. With the way (it went) today, the ground starting to come up very soft, it was a lot for him. Those two lighter weights just got away from him.”
The 24-year-old has ridden 36 winners already this season including another today on impressive Sir Psycho.
“Yeah, he is a proper horse, a very progressive young horse. He has plenty of size about him so his future is bright if they want to go over fences, which I am sure they will.
“He is going in the right direction, from the first day he came to Chepstow he has progressed now and the way he has won today.”
The four-year-old bolted up to beat French Raider, Rockadenn, by eight and a half lengths, but Frost says where he goes next is out of her hands: “Yeah, he could be (A horse for the Cheltenham Festival) , if he goes there, I will leave that to the governor. From what I felt from him today you can be excited about him.”
After the race today Sir Psycho was clipped into 16/1 for the JCB Triumph hurdle at the Cheltenham festival in march.
Daughter of former Jockey, and now Trainer; Jimmy Frost, Bryony made her own name for herself when lifting Frodon to win the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham festival last year.
Bryony provided an update on her best mate, “He is in great order at home. He is bucking, squealing and being his normal, boisterous self.”
Frodon has been entered to defend his crown at the festival but Frost isn’t getting too ahead of herself, “In a jockey’s life that is still quite a way away. If we get there in one piece, I’ll be very excited.”
The Racing world went mad for Frost and Frodon last year after the magical Thursday. Since then Bryony has really embraced the heightened interest in the pair of them, “For a jockey to say you have a horse who is being talked about so much before the festival… yeah it is really cool.”
It is no secret that Frost is an emotional professional, she has a chemistry with horses like no other jockey. But how does she go about building up a relationship with a half-ton racehorse?
“They have to like you to gallop for you. Mr Black Corton, Present Man, Yala (Enki), Frodes (Frodon)… you know I have so many chasers I’ve just cliqued with.”
Maybe the key to success is the bond between horse and rider, “You’ve got to be attached to them. Look, you’re asking them to give absolutely everything out there, you have to be fond of them otherwise why should they.”
Frost has gathered many big race winners on her equine amigos. Present Man had his day in the Badger Ales Trophy in November 2018 as did Black Corton in the Grade 2 bet365 Oaksey Chase at the backend of last season.
Present Man and Bryony Frost did it again!
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) November 11, 2018
Frost had some praise for her boss Paul Nicholls for keeping the faith with her, “Paul has stayed immensely loyal and kept me with them, so I have been able to grow these relationships with them, and with their owners as well.”
The best might still be yet to come for the 24-year-old and she understands she is in a great place to continue her ascent to the top where she is now, “Being part of the team in Ditcheat, when they get the wind in their sails, they are a formidable force.”
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(Feature Image – Carine06 – Creative Commons Licence)