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Frost becomes 1st female jockey to win King George VI Chase

Kempton Races

SUNBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Bryony Frost riding Frodon clear the last to win The Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton Park Racecourse on December 26, 2020 in Sunbury, England. Owners are allowed to attend if they have a runner at the meeting otherwise racing remains behind closed doors to the public due to the Coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

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KEMPTON, England -- Bryony Frost became the first female jockey to win the King George VI Chase when she rode 20-1 shot Frodon in an impressive front-running display on Saturday, giving trainer Paul Nicholls a record-extending 12th victory in the prestigious English horse race.

Frodon - one of Nicholls’ four runners - dictated the pace of the 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) jumps race at Kempton after going out in front early and jumped excellently throughout under the 25-year-old Frost.

Clan Des Obeaux, another horse trained by Nicholls, was going for a third straight victory in the race. The 85-40 shot - one of the two favorites - moved to challenge Frodon with two fences left.

But Frodon finished strongly and reached the finishing post about three lengths clear of Waiting Patiently, a 12-1 shot. Clan Des Obeaux was third.

Last year, Frost was the first female jockey to ride a top-level Grade One winner at the Cheltenham Festival - also on Frodon.

“The dark days, the hard words you get thrown at you, to gallop round there with him - he has just smashed everybody’s expectations,” Frost said.

“I got some amazing jumps from him. He’s what you dream of as a little girl - absolutely epic.”

Nicholls has won half of the last 24 editions of the King George, with Kauto Star and Silviniaco Conti among his repeat winners.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” said Nicholls. “I just said to Bryony, `Go as quick as you can and keep galloping.”’

There were no spectators present at Kempton because of the coronavirus pandemic for a race which usually attracts about 20,000 fans.