Brilliant Bryony dominates Christmas racing
- Credit: Archant
The horse racing world during the festive season was dominated by Devon's Bryony Frost, who had the biggest success of her career so far on Paul Nicholl's trained Frodon in the King George VI steeplechase on Boxing Day.
In doing so she made the horses owners very happy with a first prize of over £116,000 but also put their horse in serious contention for the Blue Ribband of steeplechasing - The Cheltenham Gold Cup to be held in March.
This gives the owners the opportunity to win a staggering figure in excess of £350,000.
Bryony, as always, excelled in her post-race live interview and would no doubt have been loudly cheered by a packed house in a normal year.
The success also provided Bryony with her 165th professional win, thereby already making her at the age of 25 the most successful National Hunt lady rider in the history of British racing.
Sadly, Bryony's good fortune didn't extend to one of her local tracks - Exeter - whose New Year's Day fixture was cancelled at the eleventh hour because of the deep frost that occurred overnight.
The course has had really bad luck with the weather in 2019 and 2020, with the need to cancel on three previous occasions.
This latest cancellation was particularly galling for Exeter Racecourse, as it was scheduled for coverage by the increasingly popular ITV racing team.
Here's hoping the weather stays fine and permits this Sunday’s card to go ahead. Racing is also scheduled to take place in the South West at Taunton on Friday.
The racing world, like all involved in sport, will be watching Government announcements with increasing nervousness this week.
The move of Devon into Tier 3 has meant that only owners and trainers can now watch their horses run.
Horse racing has been proactive and has had less disruption than most sports during 2020. It is praying that its major events in the spring, the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National, will be able to go ahead.