Ten-times champion trainer Paul Nicholls has doubted whether racing’s Bryony Frost will ever win the jump jockeys‘ title despite being her „No 1 fan“.
Nicholls has also questioned whether any woman could follow in the footsteps of Sir Anthony McCoy and Richard Johnson due to the amount of injuries sustained from falls in racing.
Frost was quoted 25-1 last month to become champion jockey in the next 10 years and has won plenty of admirers for her skills in the saddle.
The 22‑year‑old was an unknown a year ago but is now a regular Saturday winner. She won the Foxhunter on Nicholls Pacha Du Polder at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and has won the Badger Ales Trophy and Warwick’s Classic Chase this season – but Nicholls has tried to manage people’s expectations going forward.
„I’m her number-one fan, but it will be incredibly hard for her to be champion jockey because it’s a tough job,“ he said.
„Perhaps one day it will happen, but it will be hard. Suppose she rode all of mine, that doesn’t mean she’d be champion jockey, it doesn’t.
“The fact is you need to have six rides every day like McCoy did. To be champion jockey you have to be riding for anyone and everyone. Look at what McCoy did and Johnson does every day.
“To deal with the falls they have, I just think it would be impossible. I am not saying it will never happen. It probably will do one day,“ he added in the Times.
Nicholls has tried to warn Frost from competing in certain races for fear of falling and suffering a set-back.
„Bryony was booked up to ride one today at Plumpton in a novice chase who had been 100-1 the last five times it had run,“ he said.
„I said to her, ‚You don’t want to be riding that. If that goes and falls at the first or does something stupid, you can’t ride Frodon or Black Corton on Saturday, and if you’re off for six weeks you’ll be forgotten‘.
„We’ve just got to mind her. Bryony’s got an agent and that enthusiasm, but you don’t want to be doing things like that.“
Nicholls, who was adamant he was not being sexist nor playing down what she has achieved to date, is a great listener, highly enthusiastic and doesn’t panic.
„As Ruby [Walsh] was saying on the television, she’s very quiet on a horse jumping. Horses jump out of her hands and she doesn’t panic. She’s got a lot of good qualities.“