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St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase - all the news & quotes

Press Release 17th March 2017 Cheltenham

Bryony Frost's win in the St James's Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup means that all three races for amateur riders run at The Festival 2017 have gone to female jockeys for the first time, following the successes of Lisa O'Neill in the J T McNamara National Hunt Chase on Tiger Roll on Tuesday and Gina Andrews in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase aboard Domesday Book yesterday.
Riding Pacha Du Polder, on whom former Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton finished fifth in last year's race, Frost beat Wonderful Charm (Katie Walsh) by a neck at odds of 16/1.
The first two horses are both trained by Paul Nicholls.
Frost said: "It's hard to describe how I feel - it's an unbelievable feeling. I've watched people ride winners here - I've seen it, seen the success - but actually to ride into this winner's enclosure...
"He jumped the last and kept galloping. I saw the head of Wonderful Charm next to me and thought, 'don't you deny us today!'. I might have been a bit more forward than I wanted to be, but I've been here once before and got left at the start, and that wasn't going to happen again."
Describing the latter stages of the race, Frost said: "We are in gear six, as it were, and he's met the last cleanly, his stride is still strong underneath me and he's trying his heart out. If anyone was going to get past us, fair play to them, but luckily they didn't."
Andy Stewart, representing winning owners The Stewart Family, said: "I am absolutely delighted with that. Last year we were beaten a couple of lengths with Victoria Pendleton on board, but Bryony did it really well.
"It's great, the Foxhunters - I love it. It's very competitive; it always is at this level, and that's what we all love. Yes, the horse will go to Aintree - two miles, five furlongs will suit him."
4.10pm St James's Place Foxhunter Chase
1 PACHA DU POLDER (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 10-12-00 Bryony Frost 16/1
2 Wonderful Charm (Robin Geffen & Sir John Ritblat) Paul Nicholls 9-12-00 Ms Katie Walsh 7/2
3 Barel Of Laughs (Mrs Peter Andrews) Philip Rowley 11-12-00 Mr Alex Edwards 100/1
11/8 Fav On The Fringe (4th)
Tote Win: £19.10 Places: £3.70, £2.00, £23.50 Exacta: £84.90
Distances: nk, nk, 2
Paul Nicholls - 41st winner at The Festival
Bryony Frost - 1st winner at The Festival
BetBright Cup - standings after 26 races
Great Britain 9
Ireland 17
Somerset handler Paul Nicholls, Britain's champion Jump trainer, gained his first success of this year's Cheltenham Festival after Pacha Du Polder claimed the St James's Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup, the fifth race on day four, Gold Cup day, of the 2017 Festival.
Under Bryony Frost, the 10-year-old gelding, fifth in this race last year, found plenty for pressure up the Cheltenham hill to score by a neck at odds of 16/1.
Stable companion Wonderful Charm (7/2) was second, with 100/1 shot Barel Of Laughs, trained by Philip Rowley, in third.
A delighted Nicholls, registering his 41st winner at The Festival said: "It is sweet and it's sweet for young Bryony. She is Jimmy's [Frost, trainer] daughter and works in the yard, and it's great to give kids like that an opportunity. He is a legend of a horse - he ran well for Victoria last year and we are thrilled. Wonderful Charm ran an absolute blinder from way off the pace, so we are absolutely delighted.
"The buzz today with Saphir Du Rheu finishing fifth in the Gold Cup and now this - it's unbelievable. It has and it hasn't been a difficult week. Everyone expects a little bit too much and some of them have run OK but I thought those two would go well.
"I really believed in Pacha. He was beaten three lengths last year and it was a bad prep. I am so thrilled for Bryony, who is a great part of the team. She is only a young girl and it's brilliant. He wasn't beaten too far last year, he was just too far out of his ground, so I am thrilled."
Katie Walsh, rider of the second Wonderful Charm said: "It was a great spin, I really enjoyed it. I couldn't have been any closer as I was never really travelling."
Mr Alex Edwards, rider of third home Barel Of Laughs, remarked: "He has run a blinder. We were hoping for a good run as he shows a lot at home. He showed us a lot in the Taunton run (first in a hunter chase) and we thought we had come on a bit for it."


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