A Wessex Winner of the Foxhunters @ Cheltenham
It was a perfect result for the Paul Nicholls’ trained pair Pacha du Polder and Wonderful Charm, who finished first and second in the most prestigious race for Amateur riders at the Cheltenham festival. It was a dream come true for Pacha du Polder’s rider Bryony Frost who was securing the most important victory in her riding career.
Following instructions to keep on the inner throughout to the letter, she took up the running at the last after passing the long-time leader Balnaslow, ridden by leading Irish rider Derek O’Connor, and her mount gamely held off the challenge of his stablemate to win by a neck.
Talking to Bryony 24 hours after her victory, at Cothelstone on Saturday the enormity of her success had not yet sunk in. She was thrilled for the horse with whom she has built up an excellent partnership and for the stable where she now works as a pupil assistant trainer. She thought that the drying ground would be in his favour and he certainly stayed the trip.
It has been 12 years since there was last a Wessex winner of the race with Sleeping Night trained by Paul Nicholls in 2005 and 13 years since a lady jockey has triumphed with Rilly Goschen being successful on Earthmover also trained by Paul Nicholls.
Bryony, 21, who is currently the leading female rider in the Wessex area and is second in the National Ladies Championship behind Gina Andrews, is riding better than ever and the ride she gave Pacha du Polder was a copybook one.
Pacha du Polder, whose main claim to fame prior to this season was providing Victoria Pendleton with her first winner at Wincanton, has only appeared in a point-to-point on one occasion when finishing a head second in a Ladies race at the South Dorset meeting at Milborne St Andrew in 2016. His conqueror that day was the Jack Barber trained Queen’s Bay, ridden by Bryony Frost!
The Wessex area sends their congratulations to the Stewart family, the owners of the horse, Paul Nicholls and in particular Bryony.