Despite being a Grand National winning jockey, Jimmy Frost did not get too many rides in the Aintree contest, riding just five times during his career, in a period of 10 years. However, what no one can take away from him is the one win that he had in the contest, which was also the first time he had ridden in the race.
This came in 1989 when Frost won the race on Little Polveir, trained by Toby Balding, who had previously won the Grand National in 1969 with Highland Wedding. He chose Frost to take the ride on his contender, and the decision was justified as Frost gave the horse a great ride.
Jimmy Frost Grand National Wins
- 1989 - Little Polveir trained by G B ‘Toby’ Balding
|1999||St Mellion Fairway||9||-||Martin Pipe|
|1994||Topsham Bay||Fence 13 - Unseated Rider||-||David Hawken Barons|
|1991||Bumbles Folly||Fence 21 - Pulled Up||-||David Hawken Barons|
|1990||Torside||Fence 6 - Pulled Up||-||Martin Pipe|
|1989||Little Polveir||1||£66,840||G B ‘Toby’ Balding|
Winning The 1989 Grand National On Little Polveir
Frost had just five rides in the Grand National, and the one that he will remember the most will certainly be the first he took. This was the one that landed him a big race win when he steered Little Polveir to victory in 1989.
The horse had previously run three times in the Grand National, completing on his first attempt but unseating his rider on the other two. He was partnered by others for those, this was the first time that Frost had taken the ride on him over the big fences.
He was sent off with an SP of 28/1, had some form in the book, but on the whole, was pretty unfancied in the race. The one positive for him was the ground on the day, which was heavy and is precisely what he needed to be seen in the best light.
Frost knew this and also knew that the horse would stay strongly, having run here three times before, and won the Scottish Grand National back in 1987. There were no stamina doubts, even with the heavy ground, and it is with those in mind that the ride Frost gave Little Polveir was so good.
At the end of the first circuit, as the horses jumped over the water jump, this is when Frost made his decision to take Little Polveir to the front and ensure the tempo of the race remained strong. Although it happened at the end of the first circuit, in many ways, this was a race-winning move by the jockey and would prove to be a fantastic decision.
Little Polveir didn’t kick too far clear but was able to ensure the gallop was a good one and that stamina would play a part in who won the race, which would obviously suit him brilliantly. For most of the early part of the second circuit, Smart Tar was the horse that kept close to Little Polveir, but that all changed when the horses reached the 21st fence.
Here, Smart Tar fell, and that left Little Polveir with a three-length lead in the race. Now was the time when his stamina really started to shine. With a horse in the lead at this stage that had such strong staying power, it was going to be very difficult for those in behind to get past him.
That was precisely what happened, as from that moment, he maintained a winning distance of three lengths or more, many tried to get on terms, but Little Polveir kept finding more and was able to keep clear.
In the end, West Tip was the one who tried to rally and get up to the leader, but his efforts were in vain, as Little Polveir pulled clear and won the race by seven lengths.
This was a majestic ride by Frost, and it was all done on his first attempt at winning the race. He knew the strengths of his horse and had tactics that played into them perfectly.
Jimmy Frost is Bryony Frost’s father, who is also a well known jump race jockey.