Bradley Abel loves being involved in the racing game. It’s more than just a passing interest, it’s a genuine passion.
In the past decade or so, Abel has part-owned a number of horses in Perth and across the eastern seaboard.
They’ve all enjoyed varying success, but none have gone on to be stars or won major feature races.
That hasn’t dented or dulled Abel’s interest in the sport, it’s only kept his dream alive to find the next good horse in racing.
Belle Of Liberty certainly doesn’t fall into the ‘star’ horse category, although in her early days she teased with her early runs.
But for whatever reason she hasn’t been able to go on with the job after a bright start as a three-year-old.
That was until last Sunday at Kalgoorlie.
21 months since her first win and 182 days since her last appearance, Belle Of Liberty made a winning return.
In a gutsy effort after racing wide she finished the best and gained the upper hand late to record an 1100m victory.
Any win as an owner you gleefully accept, but for Abel, this victory had a touch more meaning to it.
“It’s just pretty special because from my point of view she was my first Saturday winner,” Abel told The Races WA.
“I was pretty emotional on Sunday and she will always have a special place in my heart.
“She is just a gorgeous looking mare, if you were going to buy one she is a beautiful type.
“She is just stunning and her temperament is amazing.
“I had mum and dad around watching it and it was the first time I’ve had a winner since by baby boy (Hunter) was born five months ago.
“She’s had a few setbacks so it was just good to see her put her best foot forward again.”
Belle Of Liberty showed great signs in her maiden campaign, wining two races and running second twice from her opening four starts.
As an owner of a promising young horse you are full of optimism, but Abel admitted he might have got ahead of himself.
“You get excited when your horse wins a Saturday race as an early three-year-old,” Abel said.
“You think hang on. She won over 1400m and was able to get a bit of ground.
“You start to get pumped thinking that you might have something special.
“You start to think this is what we all dream about.
“She just didn’t come back the same.”
Abel’s not certain how many more wins he will get out of Belle Of Liberty, he’ll leave that to training maestro, Adam Durrant.
But he’ll be enjoying the ride for as long as it lasts.
“Adam said he would probably give her one more prep and then send her off to be a mum,” Abel said.
“But he did say on Sunday that’s the best he’s had her for a while.
“She looked brilliant and it was a super tough run.
“Hopefully she can go out with a bang.
‘It would be nice to see her go out with a few wins before she goes to the breeding barn.”