Broken down, unraced and unwanted four years ago, a racing career seemed improbable for Black Tycoon.
But in racing's latest rags-to- riches story, Black Tycoon completed a stunning transformation to win the $500,000 GRD Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot yesterday with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Kalgoorlie trainer Rickie Brown, 58, took a punt on Black Tycoon when he was confined to a paddock with a tendon injury.
"I had a horse spelling at Auburn Park and saw this horse running around the paddock," Brown said.
"He had an injury as a young horse and they'd given up hope on him.
"I got a bunch of owners from Kal who are first-time owners in him and thought we'd have a bit of fun with him in Kalgoorlie.
"Now he's won the Perth Cup."
Black Tycoon, who also had a reputation as a bucking horse, cleared his first hurdle when making his race debut as a five-year-old.
After flashing potential with three wins from 13 starts in Kalgoorlie, Brown sent the gelding to Myalup trainer Justin Warwick.
"He was always hard to handle but he always had the potential," Brown said.
"He didn't handle the stable environment and we knew he was a very good horse, so we thought we'd send him to Justin. He just kept going forward and it's been the ride of a lifetime."
Warwick guided Black Tycoon to victories in the Geraldton Cup (2100m), Hyperion Stakes (1600m) and Tattersalls Cup (2100m) last year.
Brown and his Kalgoorlie mates Brad George, Bob Kelly, Craig Gellatly, Dave Fenton, Wayne Whalley and Chantelle Ware lease the eight-year-old from his breeder, Ron Harken.
Brown was burnt out by a long career in racing and stopped training when Black Tycoon was sent to Warwick. His passion was reignited when his son, Trent, started training in Kalgoorlie.
A post-race vet examination on one of the favourites, Pop Culture, who ran 15th, revealed no abnormalities.
·WA apprentice Aaron Mitchell celebrated his first winner in Victoria yesterday on I Maximus at Mornington.