Frost finishes the season with a flourish
- Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK
The National Hunt season ended in style for Devon’s own Bryony Frost on Saturday with two major successes at the season’s Sandown finale.
Old favourite Frodon, on whom Bryony has had her greatest victories, delivered once more in the graded Oaksey Chase. Showing the impact of his hard race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, this was not a vintage performance but his trademark jumping was overall fine and he showed his normal determination in fighting off his main rival Mr Fisher on the run-in after looking like this might be one race too far.
The star of the day was Greaneteen, who, in winning the Group 1 Celebration chase, showed Bryony at her very best with a whole range of prodigious leaps and an audacious move to undertake former Champion Chaser Altior on the inside of the final bend. Greaneteen, if anything, jumped better than Frodon, a rare compliment.
These winners were part of a final day treble for Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls, who retained his crown with a record high number of winners scoring on 171 individual occasions. Afterwards he was busy informing everyone of some exciting plans for his stable stars in the 2021 – 2022 season.
Whilst the stars of the winter take a well-earned summer break, it is now the start of the new season with the first meeting at Uttoxeter. The summer season has a different feel with the racing taking place in a more relaxed party-like atmosphere, which it is hoped can be re-established as the lockdown rules continue to be loosened.
The season that has just completed has not been a vintage one. Owners have by and large not been able to see their horses run. Trainers have had to circumnavigate very strict Covid regulations and jockeys have had to ride to empty stands.
However, these concerns were put into context by the tragic death of much-loved rider Lorna Brooke as the season drew to a close. The racing world is one big family and losing one of its own puts everything else into perspective.