REMEMBER the name, Charlie Bunker. As the successful horse in the Norwegian Blue Handicap Hurdle, he goes into the history books as the last ever winner of a National Hunt race at Windsor.

It was not quite a wake as the Berkshire track closed its jump circuit down on Thursday, after all, Flat racing will continue to flourish on the banks of the Thames, but it was certainly the end of an era as far as lovers of the winter game were concerned.

Jumping has been held at Windsor for 130 years, but yet again it has become the poor relation of its flat big brother, and like the recent example at Nottingham and Lingfield, where jumping action is to cease in February, is consigning hunt racing to the dust bin.

Simple economics, in other words, the usual excuse, are blamed in the case of Windsor, where a #100,000 bill for wear and tear on the track earlier this year became the straw that broke the camel's back.

A meeting of the racecourse executive subsequently announced in June that Flat racing was being given priority and that was that.

Even the track's clerk of the course, Hugo Bevan, was against the idea but, in line with many in other walks of life, he has had to bow to the inevitable once the money men had done their sums.

This year, Windsor staged eight National Hunt meetings, most of which cost #4000 more to put on than the 15 Flat fixtures.

In addition, the Flat cards, all bar two of which were staged in the evening, were extremely well attended, whereas their jumps counterparts struggled to draw the crowds in any great numbers at all.

The British Horseracing Board and the Jockey Club do not appear to have done very much to solve Windsor's problem, and even an imminent rise in the Levy Board daily grant for jumping meetings was obviously too little, too late.

Not for the first time, or probably the last, National Hunt racing has been kicked in the teeth.

As well as anything else, two fine races have been lost, being the New Year's Day Hurdle and the Fairlawne Chase.

Top-class hurdlers such as Comedy Of Errors and Celtic Ryde have their names etched on the trophy for the former, while Fred Winter's ill-fated Bula was just one of the household name chasers to land the latter.

The worry is now where will be next the axe to fall if Windsor, Nottingham, and Lingfield can drop jumping with such apparent disregard for the sport in general.

As far as Windsor is concerned, no where can be sacred if a course like that cannot survive with a major jumps training centre like Lambourn in such close proximity.

Apart from that, the jumping fraternity genuinely liked Windsor, with its famous figure-of-eight circuit.

It was a real spectacle for those that bother to turn up to watch as well with the runners never too far from sight.

Indeed, it was calculated that no obstacle was more than three furlongs from the grandstand. Eat your heart out Aintree, where Becher's Brook, the Canal Turn, and Valentine's Brook are almost invisible to the naked eye.

One man who loved Windsor as much as anyone was David Mould. Long since retired from the prestigious position as one of the Queen Mother's jockeys, he was peerless around the track when at his peak some three decades ago.

I had the privilege of interviewing ''Mouldy'' at Ayr's Western Meeting in September, and even then, the subjects of the neglect of National Hunt racing and the impending exit of the sport by Windsor cropped up in our conversation.

Mould was enjoying the hospitality of Tony Collins in his box in the Craigie Stand, and overlooking the course where he rode twice without success in the Scottish Grand National.

''It's a disgrace really what they are doing at Windsor,'' he said with genuine feeling. I know it was a strange shaped track but you never heard any excuses, not in my day anyway, and I don't think anything got beat that should have won because of the track.

''Windsor was a great place for me and I've many happy memories - at least they can't take them away from me.''

Without name dropping to the extreme, I was also speaking to Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson on the phone last Sunday. He had called inquiring about a problem regarding a mutual friend.

His dearest wish was to have a winner at Windsor's jumping swansong. Henderson, who played truant from Eton to visit the track, not only had his wish granted but saddled a double.