Former jockey and trainer Liz Aalbers has always liked to celebrate with a glass or two of Riccadonna.
And it was no different on Boxing Day when Aalbers celebrated a special milestone.
She turned 80.
Dozens of industry participants including several former jockeys helped celebrate the occasion with a birthday bash in Racing Wodonga's members bar.
"I'm getting old, aren't I?," Aalbers said.
"But to be honest, it's not much different to when I was 79 at this stage.
"Everybody we invited was there apart from Jodie Bohr who had a horse racing at Albury.
"Her horse won as well, so that was good to see.
"The people that were there have been friends for decades.
"They were at my 50th, 60th, 70th and now my 80th.
"I had a few more Riccadonna's than usual to celebrate.
"Luckily I pulled up alright the next day because I made sure I had a few glasses of water before I went to bed to help dodge a hangover."
ALSO IN SPORT
Aalbers retired from training in 2018 after more than six decades as a trainer and jockey.
She still part-owns several horses.
"I've got a couple of horses with Chris Hyland," she said.
"I haven't been able to go down to Melbourne to watch them race because of COVID so I watch them on the TV.
"I've also got a couple of gallopers with Albury trainers as well.
"It's always a bit of fun.
"You've got to keep active and living, don't you?"
Aalbers is happily retired from training.
"I don't miss training because I did it for so long," she said.
"It can get a bit monotonous and I had had enough by the time I retired.
"I don't regret my decision at all."
Aalbers revealed she still can't sleep in after decades of getting up before dawn.
"I reckon the latest I've slept in to since I retired would be 7am," she said.
"Usually I get up at 5.30am and go for my morning walk.
"Then I sit in the spa for an hour to recover.
"I find it helps stop the bones creaking up and it's a daily ritual."
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