Greaneteen and Frodon won Grade 1 and Grade 2 races respectively at Sandown on Saturday for trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Bryony Frost.

Greaneteen lowered the colours of Altior with a stylish success in the bet365 Celebration Chase.

Not beaten far into fourth in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, the seven-year-old showed he will be a real force to be reckoned with next season as he showed a very smart turn of foot.

Nico de Boinville adopted different tactics on 9/4 favourite Altior, who was wearing first-time cheekpieces. He shot into an early lead and on the way round put in some spectacular leaps.

Approaching the Pond Fence, though, Greaneteen and Sceau Royal both closed in to challenge and when De Boinville drifted off the rail, Bryony Frost did not need asking twice to take the invitation on Greaneteen.

Just 35 minutes after partnering Frodon to victory in the Oaksey Chase, Frost was full of confidence on the 13/2 shot who scampered clear.

Just like a true champion, Altior stuck to his task and was closing again at the line, but he was unable to match Paul Nicholls’ charge for speed at a crucial period of the race and went down by three and three-quarter lengths.

Nicholls said: “He ran very well in the Tingle Creek here behind Politologue when the ground was soft enough and he was too free in the Game Spirit, but he’s now starting to relax.

“Today Bryony realised what Nico was doing and she had the sense to follow Altior. It was a great move by her getting a lead into the straight.

“I’m not in a mad hurry to go over two and a half miles with him and his target will be back here for the Tingle Creek.”

Frost said: “I said coming in the car I hoped it was going to be a good day for us and thankfully it really has been.

“Altior looked to be on a going day and that he wouldn’t be coming back to us in a hurry, so I allowed the gap to reduce coming down the hill.

“This horse has one chink in his armour in that he can be a bit too keen, but he’s learning to settle and I have a 100% strike-rate on him from winning a novice hurdle on him to winning the Celebration Chase today.

“The season has had its brilliant highs and serious lows, but I’ve ended up on the 47-winner mark which is close to matching my best.”


Although beaten, Nicky Henderson was delighted to see Altior run with much more zest, on his first start since a lacklustre outing Christmas.

He said: “It’s a long time since he’s had a run and he just got a bit tired in the end, but he’s done nothing wrong at all and really enjoyed himself.

“I think he still has that old spark. All things are up for discussion.

“We were all set for Cheltenham, then came that nasty tracheal wash and it was a rush to get him here, but as you could see he still jumps and can still go a rare old gallop.”

When asked if Altior would return next season, Henderson said: “I see no reason why not.”


Earlier King George hero Frodon showed all his renowned battling qualities to end his season on a winning note in the bet365 Oaksey Chase.

Frodon and jockey Bryony Frost provided one of the stories of the season when winning at Kempton over Christmas and he was the 4/5 favourite against just three rivals.

Frost had been out of action after a bad fall in the Grand National and only returned on Thursday – with a winner – but it would have taken something out of the ordinary to stop her from partnering her favourite horse.

As usual Frost set out to make all on the bold jumper – who was last seen finishing fifth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – but approaching the Pond Fence the final time none of the quartet could be ruled out.

When Militarian and Born Survivor cracked after that obstacle, Mister Fisher loomed up looking to be travelling much better under Nico de Boinville.

Nicky Henderson’s charge also got away from the last quicker, too – but if any horse mirrors champion trainer Paul Nicholls’ attitude it is Frodon as he simply would not accept defeat.

With a length to make up Frodon stuck his neck out and began gaining with every stride up the hill, eventually crossing the line a neck to the good.

Nicholls said: “It was a real challenge getting him ready for today because he took a hell of a lot out of himself at Cheltenham and had a hard race in the Gold Cup.

“But he’s tough and he’s class. He jumped well and even though he looked a little bit flat out, he stayed on up the hill to get back on the line.

“He will have a lovely holiday now and we’ll train him for the King George, as there’s no point training him for the Gold Cup because he doesn’t get the trip.

“I will, all being well, give him one run in the autumn before Kempton and then have a look at a race at the Dublin Festival because I think Leopardstown would suit him.”

Frost said: “What he’s done for me is incredible. We went a right good gallop the whole way – I wondered if he’d enjoy letting himself on this ground, but Sandown have done a great job in making it safe.

“What a battle – Mister Fisher was all over us, but this lad won’t go down without a fight.

“He’s everything you want, you dream of horses like him.”