It is to my eternal regret that I only saw Kauto Star win once. That was the time that he won the Betfair Chase on a foul day at Haydock Park. A photo was needed to confirm he had just beaten Imperial Commander in a thrilling finish to the race.
It was not the last time I would heave a sigh of relief watching the now retired Kauto Star.
I regret that I did not see him win more often. I always wanted to be at Kempton Park one Boxing Day to see him triumph in the King George VI chase. He did so on no less than five occasions.
I wish I had seen him win one of his two Gold Cups at Cheltenham. I did see him race at the festival but that day lives in the memory for a different reason.
I was there the day Kauto Star fell
I can still hear the audible intake of breath that swept across the stands when he tumbled to the floor and parted company with jockey Ruby Walsh. In that split second I was not alone in fearing the worst.
I was not the only spectator who took my eyes off the leading pair, Denman and the eventual winner Imperial Commander, in order to check that Kauto Star got back on his feet.
The last thing I wanted to see was the sight of the screens being erected.
Thankfully that did not happen. Instead Ruby got back on board and trotted Kauto Star back to the paddock. The applause that rang out across the course at that moment made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Kauto Star was safe.
I have been at close quarters with many top horses. I have been lucky to film several and have been privileged to enter that stable of a few. One of which was Kauto Star.
I think we bonded when he attempted to eat my coat!
He will be missed from racing. I just know he will miss racing. And the star attraction at the stables of Paul Nicholls in Ditcheat, Somerset will be missed by all the good, dedicated people who work there.
And the coach parties of keen racegoers who have gone there to see Kauto Star at home.
First stablemate Denman was retired. Now his long time next door neighbour will take life easy.
It was right to retire him now. He owes racing nothing.
Kauto Star has been one of the best things to happen to racing in my lifetime. He attracted people to the sport and ensured that crowds flocked to Newbury, Kempton, Haydock, Cheltenham and other racecourses in the UK and Ireland.
Today I have something in common with lots of other supporters of racing.
I shall miss Kauto Star. But I have many memories. Including seeing him win just the once.
And only just!