Melissa Harrison has experienced the biggest thrill of her professional career with a horse everybody thought was washed up.
The Taree-based trainer celebrated her first city win in more than a decade with Road To Summer in the Palmerbet Handicap at Rosehill on Saturday.
But the six-year-old would have been retired earlier this year if it wasn’t for Harrison’s uncle Bruce Badcock.
When the gelding, who was formerly raced by the now defunct BC3 syndicate, lost form Badcock didn’t lose faith.
“They said he was finished,” Harrison said.
“Luckily for me my uncle retained a share in him and they signed him over.”
Badcock paid for the freight trip from Victoria to country NSW where his niece restarted the horse’s campaign.
Since then Road To Summer has gone from strength to strength with a winning streak of four country victories.
Harrison, who is the horse’s fourth trainer since he hit the track for Gerald Ryan in 2011, says Road To Summer is nowhere near the end of his innings.
“When he won at Muswellbrook he broke a 14-year-old track record – he doesn’t want to go to the paddock,” she said.
And Harrison, who celebrated with her uncle at Rosehill on Saturday, doesn’t want him to either.
The last time Harrison was in Sydney was 12 years ago when she won a midweek race.
“I guess we’re going to come back to town,” she said.