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It’s not the usual path to racing glory, but a rescued thoroughbred is forging a new life on the track.

The five-year-old Charity Rainbow was found as a foal along with her dam and siblings in terrible conditions in Abergavenny. One foal had already died of malnutrition.

She was rescued by the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP) in St Maughans, Monmouth, which took her in and recognised her potential.

Charity Rainbow has racing in her blood – her sire Lucky Owners won the Hong Kong Derby, while her sister Napier Star was a four-times winner under Rules.

“We thought this was the perfect chance for her to have a career, we saw her potential straight away and it’s a one-off situation – it’s not often it works this way around,” said SWHP’s Jenny MacGregor.

The horse will run for a syndicate and, after a stint with Tor Sturgis, is now in training with Brendan Powell in Lambourn.

Charity Rainbow ran in her first race, a National Hunt Flat race, at Taunton last week (28 March). It was not a very auspicious outing as she finished last from eight, but Brendan is positive about the mare.

“She’s a sweetheart and has a lovely temperament,” he said.

“She’s been here about six weeks and is already much bigger and stronger – it’s an unreal story, she was in a dreadful condition. We’ll see what we’ll do next, she has plenty of speed.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (5 April 2012)