Matchbook Ambassador Bryony Frost looks forward to a busy festive schedule.
I’m looking forward a lot to spending Christmas Day at home.
It’s great to go home, have dinner with my family, everybody together. You value the time with your family. You’re on the road a lot these days, kicking on, the next horse, the next race, so it’s lovely to be able to spend some time with your family and, when you get to do that, you appreciate it more.
I got the chance to get some Christmas shopping done on Sunday. That was nice too, so see everyone around for Christmas, families, kids running around. I haven’t had a chance to put up any decorations on my little house though. I must do that tomorrow, put some lights up or something. My poor little house. Just to try to make sure that it’s not the dullest house on the road!
It’s a busy time as well of course. I’ll be in riding out on Christmas Day before I go home. The work still has to be done.
I’m at Wincanton on Boxing Day for four rides. I ride Southfield Torr in the opening novices’ handicap hurdle. He has been knocking on the door, he has finished second in his last two runs at Taunton, and his turn might not be far away now.
He’s a consistent horse. He tries hard.
He has a lovely owner too Mrs Yeoman, so it will be nice to be back in her colours again. The last time we rode for her was at Musselburhg when we were still claiming. All her horses are home-breds too, so when they run well it always means a lot to her.
I am on Rhythm Is A Dancer in the Pertemps Qualifier. I rode him to win his bumper at Exeter last May, and he has won twice over hurdles since at Wincanton. This is a step up in grade for him, and he is a couple of pounds out of the handicap, but he will have no weight on his back.
He’ll have to step up, taking on good horses, but he’ll love the ground and he is lightly raced.
This will be the first real big question for him, but I liked him when he won his bumper, and you’ve got to step him up at some point, see who he is. See if he can become a man.
I ride Max Forte for Chris Down in the staying handicap chase. It’s a coincidence that he and Rhythm are running on the same day again because I rode a double on the two of them at Exeter in May. It would be great if we could repeat that!
Max Forte has run some nice races over hurdles.
This will be his first run over fences, but he finished second in his only point-to-point, and Chris is confident that he will take to his fences.
Hopefully I can get him into a nice rhythm early on and see how we go after that.
And I ride Hugos Other Horse in the bumper. This will be his racecourse debut, and you never really know how they are going to go until they get onto the racecourse, but he is a half-brother to Cue Card and he does his work nicely.
He’s a strong sort, so it will be interesting to see how he goes. If he turns out to be anything like his brother, we’ll be all right!
The King George VI Chase at Kempton is one of the highlights of the week, and Politologue and Clan Des Obeaux are both strong contenders.
There is a question about Politologue’s staying power, but he’s a much more professional person this year than he was last year. I can see him sitting just off the leaders and travelling well through the race.
There is sure to be a lot of pace on with Coneygree in the race, it’s going to be a proper test, a strong pace. They’ll start winding it up from a long way out and it’s going to take a big of getting. Politologue will have plenty of early pace, he should be in a good position, but nobody knows how he’s going to do through the last three furlongs. That’s the unknown. He’s a year stronger than he was last year, he’s a year more mature. He’s more of a warrior. He’s got more determination. There is a good chance that he will stay.
Clan Des Obeaux likes to come from off the pace.
I thought that he ran a really big race at Haydock for a yong horse who was making his seasonal debut. He should come on from that.
Might Bite is the one that they all have to beat. I’d base his chance on his old form, not his Haydock run. He’s the one that everyone else is going to have to hunt down. But both our horses are in great heart, so hopefully they will both run well.