Fairytale afternoon at Cheltenham

14 March 2019 16:29:10 EST

Bryony Frost made Cheltenham Festival history as the gallant Frodon extended his love-affair with the Cotswolds venue by winning the Ryanair Chase.

Frodon was in front for the most of the two-and-a-half-mile journey but it looked as though he was about to be swamped from the second last.

Aso under Charlie Deutsch was the one that headed the Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon over the final obstacle, but the eventual winner battled back up the hill and carried Frost to a famous Grade One success.

Outsider Aso was second, just ahead of the Noel Meade-trained Road To Respect and Monalee, with former winner Un De Sceaux running a fine race in fifth at 11-years-old.

Frost became the first woman to ride a Grade One winner over jumps at the Cheltenham Festival and was understandably elated afterwards.

He just made the dream come true, it's just incredible.

Bryony Frost

"My god, he jumps and just at that minute when he got overtaken, most horses would quit, but he grabbed me by the hands and said, 'don't you dare give up, don't you dare not send me into the last – I want this more than you, now come on, where are you'," the 23-year-old told ITV.

"Just look at what he's done there – deny that he just loves racing. He's unbelievable.

"He just made the dream come true, it's just incredible. He will deserve every single high five, pat and carrot."

Later on the card, Paisley Park justified strong market support as the favourite won the Stayers' Hurdle for trainer Emma Lavelle and jockey Aidan Coleman.

Paisley Park had plenty to do turning for home but he made up the ground in double-quick time for a decisive success over Sam Spinner and veteran Faugheen.

His owner Andrew Gemmell, blind since birth, was trackside at Cheltenham to enjoy his sporting dream coming true.

"I can't believe it. It's so magical," said trainer Lavelle. "It's such a big team. He's got a proper finishing kick with his ears pricked.

"It's just absolutely brilliant. If the will of the people is anything to go by then he deserved to win. This is what winning is about. This is why we're in the sport."

Paisley Park is 7/2 to win the Stayers' Hurdle in 2020, with Wednesday's Ballymore winner City Island priced at 16/1.

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