Hello Dad! Its time for Bud to bow out

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Article by Sam-Twiston Davies originally featured in Racing Post on December 9, 2012

It was definitely one of the happiest days of my career, one I’m never going to forget. To ride my favourite horse, Hello Bud, is a fantastic privilege, even when  he gets beaten, but to win a race like  the Becher Chase was simply  unbelievable.

It’s hard to find words to describe  the horse, he is such a legend; to  achieve what he has at the age of 14 is  incredible. I love this horse almost as  much as I love my mum and dad.  

I can’t explain how much he means to me; he is the best thing that has ever happened to us as a family. He is  unbelievable, his heart is so big and he  jumps for fun. He just keeps galloping. He was out on his head in the last halffurlong  but kept digging in.  

I know my dad is talking about going for the Grand National with him again, but it is just as well we are not travelling home together – I’m riding at Kelso tomorrow – as there would have been a disagreement because I’m a huge believer in happy endings and I think that’s what today should be.

I’m not being negative but Hello Bud has plenty of miles on the clock. I’ve ridden him in three Nationals – he has pulled up and finished fifth and seventh – and he owes nobody anything. He’s won here, there and everywhere, and I think the great victory today would be a fitting way to end his career.

For me, it’s the perfect way to go out. Last year he finished seventh in the National and he was absolutely cantering to two out but as he’s got older those last four furlongs catch him out.

He’s done everything for everybody. It would be a shame to keep dragging him on. You could say it’s only one more race, but when you say one more, that’s usually when accidents happen.

Little Josh is different from Hello Bud and has his own way of jumping, but he is very good at it. It was real battle up the straight and the two of us were walking, but he was so tough.

I had expected Master Of The Sea to win earlier in the afternoon and it is the fourth time I’ve ridden a treble, but the feeling of pride and pleasure far surpasses the previous occasions I have done it, at Newton Abbot, twice, and Plumpton. I’m feeling on top of the world.”