When Sugar And Spice came in first at the Sha Tin racecourse on June 14 last year, it was the perfect Father's Day present from Herbert Hui Ho-ming to his elderly father. Last Wednesday, the horse ran on the same racecourse on the all-weather dirt track. But this time he was not so lucky. He took a faulty step, snapped a leg and took a heavy fall. The six-year-old had to be put down after the race. Sugar And Spice was not a track star but was certainly the most special of the five horses owned by Mr Hui - chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors - because of the bond he had with his father, who died in January, aged 89. 'I treated the horse like a family member,' said Mr Hui. 'He really liked my father and made him very happy.' Sugar And Spice was an English-bred horse trained by Geoffrey Lane. He started racing in February 2001 and won four of his 36 races as well as landing two minor placings, earning $1.8 million in prize money. 'The horse meant a lot to me,' Mr Hui said. 'It's not because he was a top performer or that he had any particular ability, but he had heart and he always gave it his best. That's what I admired most about him, especially when I see that so many people in Hong Kong are giving up. 'You're born with what you have and it's up to you to make the best of what you've got. He certainly did that.' Lane said one of Sugar And Spice's unique abilities was to stand with his hind legs crossed - the only time he had seen this in his 51-year career. 'When he was relaxing he would stand in the box and he would cross his hind legs, but he would never fall over,' Lane said. 'I must say it was unique and it was just sort of part of his character.' Sugar And Spice was also fond of the camera and would strike a pose and prick up his ears whenever he saw a camera, Mr Hui said. After his father died, the horse acted differently and Mr Hui had planned to send him to a retirement home at the end of the year. Mr Hui took out an advertisement in the South China Morning Post yesterday in tribute. 'We cared deeply for him. He was not just an animal.'