The joy of following horses isn't always about the victory, because sometimes you need to have stood in the deepest valley to truly appreciate those soaring peaks, writes James Toney.
And that's what makes riding the seemingly never-ending rollercoaster of Un de Sceaux's career so special.
After all, the greatest of days always seem that little bit sweeter when tempered by the experience of disappointment and despair.
Because if what you admire is a pure work ethic and a desire and determination to go harder and further for the cause than a rival, even in defeat, then this special horse is the one for you.
Still campaigning at 12 years old, when it comes to Irish raiders then Willie Mullins will always have a special place for Un de Sceaux, whose position in the pantheon of legend is long secure.
He's won at Newbury and Cheltenham and puts his flawless record at Ascot - two wins from two - on the line again in this weekend's Clarence House Chase.
With ten grade ones on his resume, including the Ryanair Chase at the Festival and two Champion Chase victories at the Punchestown Festival, it's a horse that owes nothing and yet still gives absolutely everything. He's a warrior spirit with the thumping
heart of a lion.
And while Philip Hobbs will think Defi du Seuil - who wasn't born when Un De Sceaux made his track debut - will have youth on his side, don't write off this old timer just yet.
This may be the 34th race of a career that has seen him bank 23 wins and over £1.3 million in prize money but age doesn't appear to have wearied him.
Indeed his attitude doesn't seem much different from those heady days of his unbeaten novice chasing season five years ago.
And while all conventional wisdom suggests otherwise, Un de Sceaux's longevity and consistency - just four races outside the places - means this weekend doesn't even need to be about one final hurrah.
Because this about more than old dreams of past glories.
Un de Seaux has won Ascot's Clarence House Chase three times in the last four years - though one of those runnings was rearranged for Cheltenham - and will relish the heavy conditions, trained on the deep Wexford sand of Mullins's Closutton base.
And owner Edward O'Connell - you'll spot him and his always vocal contingent this weekend in their pale blue and orange scarves - couldn't contain his glee when Ascot confirmed they'd been 11mm of overnight rain.
Defi Du Seuil, who beat Un de Sceaux by a neck in their dramatic last meeting in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown, has yet to race on heavy but has won six of his seven starts on soft.
Head and logic says one thing, but Un de Sceaux is a horse for the heart.
“Un De Sceaux has only one speed and it's the same speed in heavy or good ground," said O'Connell.
“He was racing when Hurricane Fly was around and then he came up against Sprinter Sacre and Altior – it’s incredible.
“It’s incredible to think Un De Sceaux was running in France before Defi Du Seuil was even born, that’s how much older he is.
"If you want to go hammer and tongs with us for two miles in heavy ground, you might win, but you’re going to have a very hard race in the process.
“You can look back at anything he’s come up against, going back to his novice days, hardly any of them went on to do anything after it. He eyeballs them and breaks them."
Mullins still hasn't won the Champion Chase at the Festival, and is still scarred by Un de Sceaux's defeat there four years ago, humbled by a resurgent Sprinter Sacre - the only horse to beat his old campaigner twice - in a race for the ages.
And if it's the prize he craves most, lowering Defi du Seuil's colours at Ascot could be a much needed boost for his key challenger this year, Chacun Pour Soi.
"At his age I'm still amazed by Un de Sceaux's enthusiasm for training and he owes us nothing," said Mullins.
So watch this space, there could be another thrilling chapter in the story.