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Horse Racing

Our man Sam Twiston-Davies on stable star Hello Bud and his love affair with the Becher Chase

Im the biggest member of the Hello Bud Appreciation Society and Becher Chase day always gets me going.

The old boy gave me one of the best moments of my career when he won the race as a 14-year-old.

Hes still the screensaver on my phone, seven years on!

Unfortunately I dont get to see him much nowadays as he lives up in Carlisle with my Aunt, but hes getting the tip-top retirement he deserves.

He absolutely loves going out on the moors – and Im sure whenever he sees spruce he thinks hes back at Aintree!

You hardly get any horses who win two Bechers, especially at such a grand old age. He was special.

Ill be riding over the famous fences once again on Saturday and its always a particular kind of thrill.

Obviously you have to give them a massive amount of respect because theyre so big but I wouldnt say I approach them any differently to normal fences.

You have to make sure you present your horse correctly, get into a rhythm and hope your partner does the rest.

Its a challenge like no other in racing and is what we jockeys live for.

Ive got two rides there, one in the Becher and one in the Grand Sefton and hopefully I can recreate a bit of Hello Bud magic.

Hello Bud loved the Aintree fences

Ballyoptic goes in the former and were using it to find out if he can be a Grand National contender later in the season.

If he takes to the fences then well go down that route and if he doesnt will have to decide whether to target handicaps or graded company.

Im looking forward to riding Flying Angel in the Grand Sefton.

He got his first win for ages the other day and actually landed a Grade 1 at Aintree a few years ago.

You need to stay well in these races and he does just that so hopefully he can go close at least.

Aside from sprucing it up on the National course, I also ride Operatic Export in the Fillies Juvenile Listed Hurdle.

Shes schooled well recently and this is a really nice prize for her to go for.

Chance A Tune takes his chance in the novice hurdle opening the card.

Its taken a little while for him to get his jumping together and hes done some schooling since so hopefully hell be more streetwise now.

Sandown also stages a cracking meeting and the Tingle Creek looks an excellent race.

Its very, very competitive and its great to see all the entrants stand their ground.

I cant desert Politologue as weve had some great days together, but it will take a big performance to down Defi Du Seuil.

Hopefully he can land his second win in the race.

On Sunday I partner No Hassle Hoff in the slogfest that is the Borders National.

Its my only ride of the day so Ill be hoping to strike gold!