Big Buck's was the dominant staying hurdler of his generation and set a Cheltenham Festival record that may never be equalled, so following the horse's retirement last Thursday trainer Paul Nicholls took the chance to pay tribute to a great Ditcheat hero...
"At his best, he was a winning machine. And if you asked me what one of his performances was the most satisfying then I have to say his fourth World Hurdle. Making history takes some beating."
Proud and privileged.
Those are the thoughts that immediately spring to mind when you are lucky enough to train a horse that will live long in people's memories - and that is certainly true of Big Buck's.
And that it is why it was very nice of Cheltenham to allow him to be paraded, giving him a fitting farewell, immediately after the race on Thursday.
Because what he achieved in winning four World Hurdles will take some matching - and defeat last week doesn't diminish those exploits one bit.
You should never be afraid of failure in this game, and it is fortunate that Big Buck's has one of the most sporting owners around in Andy Stewart and his family.
They left the training and running plans to me, even when they thought that I was bonkers to send him back over hurdles after the Hennessy, and it is up to me to find a replacement for them now!
Those four consecutive victories are probably on a par with the exploits of our other "public" horses - Kauto Star, Denman, Master Minded, Neptune Collonges are the obvious, most recent, examples - and I would like to think that he is responsible, following on from the likes of Baracouda and Inglis Drever, for really putting the staying race back on the Cheltenham map.
And defeat on Thursday was no disgrace. Not one bit.
We have never shied away from a challenge with him and some of the horses he has beaten and seen off down the years - the likes of Grands Crus, Dynaste, Punchestowns to name but three - were all top-class stayers in their own right. Even though he would have probably beaten selling platers by the same margin, such was his style of racing!
But I did like Andy's quote, when he was once asked about Big Buck's being lazy and only doing the bare minimum, and he responded by saying something like "if he does hit a flat spot in his races then the others soon hit a bigger one!"
That was Big Buck's all over. At his best, he was a winning machine. And if you asked me what one of his performances was the most satisfying then I have to say his fourth World Hurdle. Making history takes some beating.
There is little doubt that bringing him back this season after his absence due to injury, as an 11yo, was always going to be a tough ask.
But we got him there last week in the peak of health and fitness, ready to do himself justice, and I think that he did just that.
We said before the race that there would be no excuses if he was beaten, and there were not.
It is just that time and age had taken its toll, as we have seen so many times in the past, and again with the 10yo Hurricane Fly last week.
As with most things in life, luck obviously played its hand in him going on that 18-race unbeaten run over hurdles, 10 of which came in Grade 1 company.
It has been asked many times before what would have happened if he hadn't unseated Sam Thomas at the last in the 2008 Hennessy - and in all probability we would have had to go down the Gold Cup route that season, even though that was the year in which we saddled four of the first five home in the big race.
But there is no point wondering what might have been. What he did was more than enough, and more than we can ever have dreamed of.
I must pay tribute to the superb work Rose Loxton did with the horse here day-in, day-out - he knew he was good and wasn't the easiest on occasions - and he will now stay in the yard for the rest of the season, as if in training, and cantering as per usual.
He will then spend the summer here in a field as he normally does, before we make plans for his retirement home.
But, before then, I suspect that you will see him parading at Sandown on the final day of the season. And hopefully he will remain, for many years to come, a public horse.
And one not easily forgotten.