Veteran gelding Ginga Dude has won 15 races and more than A$1 million but that's not why he is a special horse to Graeme Boyd. Officially, Boyd is his owner and trainer. Unofficially, he is his constant companion and mate.
There seems little doubt the relationship is two-way and Ginga Dude, who will run in the group two Chelmsford stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm today, often makes that clear.
"I ride him myself. I do everything with him. We travel together. We're great mates," Boyd said.
"He's such a character. He knows me so well. He can get quite aggressive with other people but with me, I can do anything with him."
Aside from one young horse back in New Zealand, Ginga Dude is the only galloper on Boyd's books.
"I was at the races one day and someone said: 'Would you like to buy a share in a horse?', and that's how it all started," Boyd said.
The horse was Ginga Dude and not long after coming to Australia they enjoyed instant success with a group three win at the 2010 Melbourne spring carnival.
Ginga Dude has a solid first-up record but the likelihood of a firm track has dented Boyd's optimism about his Chelmsford chances today.
"If there was a little bit of rain I would have thought he was a huge chance, but it's a hot field and I'm just not sure."