It can be easy to get lost in the racing, tracks, dollars and cents when owning and training a horse but for the connections of Free Billy, the success is just a bonus.
The Peter Sinclair trained runner, owned by the Boar Boar syndicate, was purchased after Jimmy Bryans younger brother had passed away.
“I bought him to get an interest for my family after we lost our young brother (Nathan Bryans) to suicide,” he said.
“Nathan’s nickname was Boar Boar, which is where the syndicate name came from.
“The happiness he has brought us is immeasurable.”
The eight-year-old has been a good performer on the track, recording 13 wins and 12 minor placings from his 64-start career.
Starting off in the Hunter and winning races in the Southern Districts, the Bel Esprit runner has spent time in QLD and Northern NSW.
Bryans and his family purchased the horse in 2016 and haven’t looked back.
“I brought him in February 2016,” Bryans said.
“Peter Sinclair had him and he was getting bigger weights around here (Moree), so Peter suggested to send him to Alyssa Ross in Toowoomba.”
“He didn’t fire for her then Ben Currie took him after that but he still didn’t fire, so Peter said to bring him back.”
Bryans, a former apprentice to Sinclair, was hoping the purchase of Free Billy would help a family struggling after their loss.
“I brought him because when I was riding my parents used to like going to the races and after Nathan died they didn’t do anything,” he said.
“So I thought this might be a way to get them out of the house; so I brought him for the picnics.
“He is the best thing and has made my parents smile again after their loss.”
The decision to purchase Free Billy has paid further dividends with the whole family behind the old-stager, who currently sits in tenth place on the NSW Picnic Racing Association picnic champion series.
“We paid $8000 for him and now he has won just over $100,000 for us and 10 races,” he said.
“I reckon he is one of the best horses that has come out of Moree in a long time.”
One of Free Billy’s biggest fans is Bryans’ seven-year-old son, Jaylan.
“Jaylan has been to all of his races except maybe two of them and has had a few speeches on the microphone after his wins,” Bryans laughed.
Free Billy, who looks set to contest the rich $50,000 Dubbo Turf Club final in September, will be one to watch in the feature event.
Despite running over unsuitable distances of late, the Moree Race Club runner loves the 1400m and will be suited to the good Dubbo straight.
There is no doubting that on September 15, Bryans, his extended family, and son Jaylan will be on course, cheering on Free Billy and thinking of their younger brother, Nathan.