Galea's breakthrough triumph after losing the love of his life

Last week’s win at Ballarat was filled with mixed emotions for trainer Joseph Galea after losing his wife of 63 years just 24 hours before the breakthrough success.

Joseph Galea (right).
Joseph Galea (right). Picture: HRV

The 85-year-old hobby horseman felt like there was an extra set of eyes looking down on him when driver Tasmyn Potter partnered Sasscilian to victory in the Interpath Pace.

Part-owner and Joseph's son Stephen was also on track for the special moment.

"It had so much more value to me because of what happened to my Mum," Stephen said. "We are only a small-time (stable), so when we win a race it's a bonus."

Lorraine Galea had a special role to play in Joseph's career as his support system.

"She used to love it until she got sick and had emphysema and was in a nursing home before she passed," Stephen said. "She went to hospital on the Wednesday and passed away on the Thursday. It happened suddenly."

Friday's win was Sasscilian's ninth overall and sixth since being purchased by the Galea family in 2021.

"It gives Dad so much happiness. We only work two horses at a time and to win a race anywhere, it's a miracle," Stephen said.

"Dad didn't want to go to the races, but we made him just to take his mind off Mum and it was such a special moment. It was a great thing for him.

"We aren't the big owners who pay thousands, but when we win a race it means the world to us."