Jimmy Frost, father of Bryony, won the Grand National on which horse?

Nowadays, James ‘Jimmy’ Frost is probably best known as the father of Bryony Frost, the most successful female National Hunt jockey of all time. However, it should not be forgotten that, in his heyday, Frost Snr. was a highly accomplished National Hunt jockey in his own right. All told, he rode 510 winners under Rules, starting with Mopsey at Taunton in February, 1974 and ending with Bohill Lad at Exeter in March, 2002.

As far as the Grand National is concerned, Frost was a relative latecomer, not making his debut in the world famous steeplechase until April 8, 1989, by which time he was already 30 years old. On heavy going, he lined up on 28/1 chance Little Polveir, owned by Edward Harvey and trained by Gerard ‘Toby’ Balding, to whom Frost was stable jockey. Little Polveir took the lead heading out onto the final circuit and, thereafter, was never headed. At the Elbow, five horses were still in serious contention, but Little Polveir asserted in the closing stages, running on well to beat West Tip and The Thinker by 7 lengths and half a length and passing the post with just a riderless horse for company.

Little Polveir had completed the Grand National Course once before, when ninth, as nine-year-old, behind West Tip in 1986. However, he unseated rider at The Chair in 1987 and at the fence after Valentine’s Brook in 1988, when in the lead. He was sold, as a 12-year-old, by majority shareholder Mike Shone and his three partners just six weeks before the 1989 Grand National. Despite his misfortune, Shone remained philosophical, saying, ‘…I was very thrilled he won because, of course, we’d had him from four, when he was unbroken, until 12.’

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