Bryony Frost is a Jockey who is gaining huge media attention on what seems to be every Saturday as she seemingly rides the big race winner mainly for her boss Paul Nicholls.
Now I must admit I am always a little bit wary when the media say after a few winners so and so is an exceptional jockey as I think you need a lot of evidence to say such things. If you look back over the years at stats you will see that certain horses will perform better for certain jockeys. Normally there is only about three or four jockeys at any given time that stand out against the average and prove that they are exceptional in certain disciplines.
So when Bryony Frost started winning on tv on Saturdays and they hype machine was cranked up my initial reaction was “Oh yes here we go “. I thought yes she is a lovely down to earth girl with a good foundation in the game who has linked up with Paul Nicholls etc. But I have always maintained that it is the horse who does the work and when people question me about a jockey’s ride I always say “ I wasn’t watching the jockey I was watching the horse” The horse gives you the clue to the performance going forward not its pilot.
But and it is a big but in this case I must admit and it was only recently when I watched her ride FRODON at Cheltenham on Trials day that I realised she does seem to get horses running for her. She had so much confidence in the horse and likewise he in her that she was so brave at the last three fences when she could have had an easy. If you hear her being interviewed she probably does not speak overly professional but she clearly loves the horses and she simplifies it all to stress the partnership with the horse.
What I glean from hearing her is that she clearly rides the horses at home and pays attention to detail and they reproduce that on the track by really running for her when it matters. Animals are not stupid and they are loyal just like dogs are to certain people. Jockeys can get to races and have never sat on one and jump on in the parade ring and off they go but surely familiarity is an advantage. The way that FRODON ran for her at Cheltenham and the way she rode MILANSBAR to win the big race at Warwick were both examples of her love for the horses and that she is prepared to put the time in to get the best out of them. Clearly you still need a horse with ability but FRODON had looked like a 3 miler who struggled to pick up but under her he was revitalised. This relationship is what makes the difference.
So I am going to take back what I said at the beginning of the article because clearly she is something special. It’s a good story for ITV so they will keep the interviews coming and Paul Nicholls will keep putting her up on good horses. I suspect he has twigged that she gets that little bit more out of horses than others can and will be keen to utilise that. She sits as quiet as a mouse and lets the horse do the rest keeping it uncomplicated. Racing is just about the only sport where Men and Women are off a level playing field and the reason is that is still mainly about the horse and I will stand by that assertion. Every stat will tell you that and as I have said only a few riders buck those averages and win above what they should do.
I do think she is a real talent and obviously working and knowing the Nicholls’s horses is a real advantage. Now it could be without that knowledge and that relationship, when she starts having outside rides that we see that performance drop. That will be fascinating to see but one thing is for sure she is a breath of fresh air and a Press Man’ s dream. They all have media training and are told what to say and what not to. She is a natural and gets across how much she loves the horses and the game in general and it is so refreshing to see.
It is going to be very interesting watching her career develop but one thing is for sure you really has a rare talent for getting horses to run for her. This really is one Frost that is good to see at any time of year.
Matt Mitter (CEO Value Rater Platform)