Ruby Walsh didn't have the best of days at Cheltenham on Saturday. His afternoon started with a win on Pearl Swan, followed by a swift disqualification and a three-day ban for careless riding.
He was beaten on Aerial in the Grade 3 handicap, had disappointing rides on Polisky and Hinterland and took a crashing fall on That'lldoboy. He also, though, rode the extraordinary Big Bucks to victory and in turn produced the quote of the day.
Big Bucks won his 15th race in a row when landing the 3 mile Grade 2 contest after, momentarily, looking in danger at the top of the hill. If Big Bucks could jump fences cleanly he would win the Gold Cup but he can't. Barring injury, however, you can't see him beaing beaten over hurdles.
I don't know Walsh but I can tell he doesn't suffer fools glady - a trait that I also possess. He put Derek Thompson in his place a couple of years back and it amused me greatly when quizzed whether he thought Big Bucks was in trouble at the top of the hill.
"I didn't realise there was a winning post there," replied a sardonic Walsh. Classic from a brilliant and natural horseman.
A few Festival bubbles were burst. Diamond Harry and Time For Rupert can't, judged on today, win the Gold Cup and my ante-post voucher on Menorah is now at the bottom of the budgie cage after he once more failed his mocks at Doncaster.
Conversely, there was a massive eye-catcher for the Pertempts final in the shape of Sivola De Sivola. If Liam Heard hadn't got his reins "in a tangle", the Tom George runner (the trainer had the winner in Module) would have gone close to scoring.
A day after Benny Be Good caught the eye with a fourth at Huntingdon under a tender ride, it was trumped by a horse running a massive race over a trip nearly a mile shy of his best. Find a big notebook.
Finally, if anybody reading this knows Emma Lavelle can you remind her it was me that suggested she ran Kangaroo Court in the maiden at Lingfield!! Having spent 10 minutes telling her how weak it was, she told me her partners' brother would ride.
Then, to compound matters, I watched the decent hurdler come sailing down the outside with Mickey Fenton to score at 14-1 without a penny on. Thanks Emms. A crate of Becks would be nice compensation