Matchbook Ambassador Bryony Frost gives the lowdown on her rides for the weekend including Black Corton at Ascot.
It’s great to be back racing. It was good to get back at Plumpton on Wednesday and to get to Fontwell on Thursday, and I’m looking forward lots to Ascot on Saturday.
Black Corton is back for the Listed Keltbray Swinley Chase. He ran a massive race last time to finish second behind Top Notch over two and a half miles, a distance that is short of his best.
We were delighted that ‘Blackie’ ran so well there, that he was able to put his disappointing run in the Ladbrokes Trophy behind him. It was important that he did that, that he had a positive experience. They were always going fast, it was difficult to get to give him a breather, but he ran on all the way to the line to get up and beat Charbel for second place, and he wasn’t beaten that far by Top Notch.
I’ve done a little bit on him at home. I’ve given him a school. He’s been clipped too for the first time in three years. He looks strange – it’s like walking in on someone who had had a drastic change in hairstyle! But he seems to be in great form.
This is a competitive race. Paul’s other horse Art Mauresque should run well, and Reikers Island ran well at Newbury last time, and you know that there is going to be no hiding place with Coneygree in the race. But I hope that my little lad can run well.
I ride Brio Conti in the handicap hurdle. He was having his first run for a long time two weeks ago at Sandown. He just got tired. He was entitled to get tired, it was his first race since he won a novice chase at Carlisle in November 2017. He ran well for a long way though, and I just pulled him up when he tired. There was no point in giving him a harder race than he needed on the ground.
I believe that he retains a lot of his ability, and I’m looking forward to getting back on him. He’s a lovely big horse to sit on.
I ride Nordic Combined in the Betfair Hurdle, one of two that I ride for David Pipe on the day. It’s nice that the Pipe team think enough of me to allow me ride their horses. Dad rode for them, and my brother Hadden won the Pertemps Final for David on Buena Vista back in 2010.
Nordic Combined hasn’t managed to win yet over hurdles, but he has finished second twice, he ran a good race to finish second behind Rathhill at Newbury just before Christmas. He is going to have to improve, but he is a young horse and he is unexposed, so he could improve in a first-time visor.
And I ride Irish Prince for David in the three-mile handicap hurdle. He was disappointing last time at Warwick over a slightly shorter trip when he led from early before weakening, but he did run well in a handicap hurdle at Worcester during the summer, and a repeat of that run would give him a chance off his low handicap rating.
I’m off to Huntingdon on Sunday for one ride, Lookingforarainbow in the two-mile maiden hurdle for Sarah Hollinshead.
I have never ridden him before, but he didn’t run badly in a novices’ hurdle at Ludlow last time, when he raced a bit keenly early on. I’ll just try to get him nicely settled early on, and we’ll see how we get on.