An orphaned thoroughbred, whose future once seemed uncertain, looks set to take to the racecourse this year.

China Bay, who is by the Australian Group One-winning racehorse Reset, was born in February 2007. But her dam, racemare Kathryn Janeway, died shortly after foaling — leaving China Bay, then known as “Alfie”, orphaned.

The filly was matched with a rather unusual foster mother — grey prize-winning Highland pony Yasmin Of Whitefield.

Despite the discrepancy in size, colour and breed, the two bonded (news, 1 March 2007).

After weaning, she went to Heatherwold Stud, where she was sold to the Constructive Partnership in July 2008.

Named because she was bought during the Beijing Olympics and due to her colour, China Bay has been in training with Lambourn-based Tom Dascombe since last October.

“I am a great believer that animals find you, rather than the other way round,” part-owner Janette Duke told H&H.

“Given her difficult start, we knew she must be plucky to have survived. She’s feisty — nobody bosses her about!

“I wanted her because I too was adopted at birth and felt she needed to be given a chance.

“She’s an exciting prospect — it’s a bit early to say yet, but she’s looking pretty sharp.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (19 February, ’09)