England powers to victory in Haydock’s World Cup race

Bryony Frost steered England to ‘World Cup glory’ in a charity race on Betfair Chase day at Haydock.

With Republic of Ireland a non-runner, a field of six horses went to post for a race run over five furlongs, with England joined by France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Spain. 

Halfway up the home straight, the Betfair Race to the World Cup Stakes looked likely to go to France, with dual champion jockey Brian Hughes sitting motionless in the saddle.

But Frost managed to keep the Paul Nicholls-trained England, actually dual Flat winner Pleasant Man, in the fight and he knuckled down in the closing stages to claim victory.

Betfair made a charity donation of £10,000 to the Injured Jockeys Fund on behalf of the jockeys, owners and trainers that contributed to make the race possible

Frost, who punched the air passing the post and received a 'World Cup' trophy from former England manager Glenn Hoddle in the winner's enclosure, said: "For Betfair to be supporting the Injured Jockeys Fund, they've put £10,000 in there, is massive.

"The vibe coming out with the jockeys was awesome and it was a good bit of fun, the crowd has absolutely loved it.

"Your guess is as good as mine on England! I'm not massively clued up on it, but they gave us all a good bit of fun last year when we were all piling into the pub to cheer them on and hopefully we can go far again."

The FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday, with England starting their campaign against Iran on Monday and Hoddle hopes the Haydock verdict will be replicated on the football field.

He said: "It's a great idea and hopefully England will follow the horse and complete the double now out in Qatar. Brazil are the favourites but to be honest I don't think they've 'hot favourites'.

"I'd say we're in a batch of about six countries who could feasibly win it and I think we'll go deep into the tournament. It's all about peaking at the right time and if we get the luck at the right moments, we're as good as any of the teams there.

"It's a very strange time to have a World Cup, but it's going to suit England more than any other country. The England boys are usually going to these tournaments on the back of gruelling seasons and are absolutely shattered, I've known that as a player and a manager.

"This time they've only played 16 games, so they'll be fresher than they've ever been for any World Cup. There's been no big gaps between the season finishing and the tournament starting, so they're going to go there and get stuck straight into it and I think that's going to really suit us."

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