Well-known publican Phil Nicholson always regarded Braedon Hensel like another son.
With the Nicholson and Hensel families sharing a tight-knit friendship, it was no surprise when Phil decided to name several pacers in honour of Braedon when he passed away after a three-year long cancer battle in 2014.
Braedon, 22, was a much-loved Border sportsman who was best known for his exploits with St Patrick's Cricket Club.
His popularity was highlighted after more than 1200 mourners attended his funeral at Sacred Heart Church in North Albury.
St Patrick's Cricket Club also paid tribute to their popular teammate after they built a memorial hill named Braedon (Pup) Hensel.
Fireball Pup was the first pacer Nicholson named in honour of Braedon who shared the nickname 'Pup' with his cricket idol Michael Clarke.
"Before Braedon passed away he went on a trip of a lifetime to America with my son, Dean, and another good mate in Nick Flood," Nicholson said.
"Anyhow the boys started drinking Fireball over in the states.
"So we came up with the name Fireball Pup."
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Nicholson also races another two pacers - Braedos Babe and Braedos Lad.
All three pacers are in the care of Team Scott with Hellen the trainer and husband John and their son, Baily, the regular drivers.
Both Fireball Pup and Braedos Babe will be out to add to their records at tonight's New Year's Eve meeting at the Albury Paceway.
Fireball Pup has won one from 28 career starts while Braedos Babe boasts a superior record with five wins and five minor placings.
Nicholson said Braedos Babe recently got in foal and this would be her last preparation before embarking on her career as a broodmare.
"With her breeding, we thought Braedos Babe could have been anything as a young horse," he said.
"She only had three starts as a two-year-old before she fractured a pastern," he said.
"It was a serious break and she had to have three screws inserted.
"Then she came back 18 months later and was about to resume racing and fractured her other pastern.
"She then came back and has won five races.
"She always showed a stack of promise but probably never got to realise her full potential because of the injuries."
Nicholson has been involved in pacers and greyhounds most of his life.
"Dad once got 60 pacers after a bloke he knew died and left them to him in his will," he said.
"None of them were any good though."