He was a graduate of a syndication group with links to one of Australian racing’s biggest scandals but there will be nothing dodgy about the bona fides of Road To Summer’s claims at Rosehill.
Road To Summer was once part of a team of horses that raced under the banner of bloodstock firm BC3 Thoroughbreds.
And the irony won’t be lost on the racing industry on Saturday when Road To Summer returns to Sydney metropolitan racing for the first time in more than two years in the Palmerbet Handicap.
With a winning streak of four country wins behind him, Road To Summer’s prospects have never looked brighter in the care of Taree-based Melissa Harrison, the horse’s fourth trainer since hitting the track for Gerald Ryan in 2011.
His fortunes oppose those of collapsed syndicator BC3 Thoroughbreds which paid $85,000 for Road To Summer as a yearling.
BC3 Thoroughbreds was placed in voluntary receivership last year after its former chairman Bill Vlahos admitted to losing $194 million in an elaborate punters’ club scheme.
Road To Summer gives Harrison a chance for her first city winner in more than a decade and for that she has to thank her uncle Bruce Badcock.
“My uncle had a small share in him when he was with BC3,” Harrison said.
“He purchased five per cent through them and he stuck with the horse the whole time.”
When it was suggested Road To Summer had nothing more to give on the racetrack and he should be retired, Badcock kept the faith and enlisted his niece to do the training.
“The other owners signed him over to my uncle, he paid for the freight trip to come up to Taree,” Harrison said.
It’s been a change of scenery that has helped Road To Summer deliver six wins since June.
“We are still a little bit in shock about how good he is going,” Harrison said.
“He’s just stood up and said `hello, I’m here, what else do you want me to do?'”
Road To Summer will be ridden by Winona Costin and Harrison says her horse’s free-running style will suit the in-form apprentice of Sydney racing.