“It was as good a day as any that I’ve ever had racing, that’s for sure”; that’s how breeder Charlie Carter described watching Howyabud storm home in the Savills Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 28th.
The 4-year-old headed into the race at 25/1, but beat the Willie Mullins-trained odds-on favourite Horantzau D’airy on the day.
Sporting black and amber silks, Howyabud was the first racecourse winner for Kilkenny legend Carter.
Carter won 3 All-Irelands and 4 Leinster titles with the Cats before a dramatic exit from inter-county hurling in 2003.
Carter joined Johnny Ward on this week's Friday Night Racing. He described how it felt to see your horse first past the post against top-quality opposition.
“It was a magical day. We knew he was decent, but going up to Leopardstown to take on Willie [Mullins], Gordon [Elliott], Henry [De Bromhead] and the others, you get a fair idea of how good your horse is after that.”
Carter also gave his thoughts on what the future holds for Howyabud after a prominent victory.
“It’s a strange one - his race ended up being 5 seconds quicker than Journey With Me the next day at the same course with the same distance.”
“We’re entitled to dream big. A lot of dreams are burst, but if you don’t dream big, you’re going nowhere.”
Carter: "It’s probably as good a decision as I’ve ever made.”
Carter explained how he came to be not just an owner, but a breeder as well.
“I used to have half-breds here on the family farm" Carter said. "Then back in 2000, I went up to Tattersalls.”
“I ended up buying two foals: Saddler’s Hall, and this foal by Anshan, who was from the family of Papillon, who, at the time, wasn’t long after winning the Grand National.”
“So I brought home the two of them. I resold Saddler’s Hall. I kept the mare and raced her, and she was good enough to win the Mares Maiden [Hurdle] in Naas one day.”
“She placed a few times as well. After that, I bred her, and she had a few foals, and then she had this beneficial filly.”
“I’m a seller - I breed and sell", Carter continued. "So I had this decision to make: do I bring her to the sales, where she’s probably not worth a whole lot, or take the plunge and run her?”
“I took the plunge and it’s probably as good a decision as I’ve ever made.”