Often when a racehorse flies home to victory, it's said to have grown another leg. In the case of Spare Parts, it's actually true.
The two-year-old is remarkably racing after being born with another leg spurring off from its front right leg.
That makes five legs not four.
"I was shattered when I saw her. I didn't even take a photo of her," part-owner and trainer Trevor Sutherland said. "I gave her to the [Charles Sturt] University to see what they could do with her and help train their vets.
"They did this operation and in the end I bought her back for $300. I thought she would just have a life in a paddock, and was happy with that, but she has got to the races and runs again at Wagga on Friday."
The condition is known as polydactyly. In this case Dr Bryan Hilbert from Charles Sturt University, was able to remove the extra canon bone, tendon and suspensory ligament, which had started to form.
"In 45 years working with horses I have only seen three or four cases like this," Hilbert said. "Once we removed the bone, there is actually a good recovery rate. I did another racehorse, which raced in Western Australia.
"The operation took a couple of hours and we had a lot of students there to see what we were doing. It is great teaching tool and certainly something that's pretty rare.
"It's good to hear that she has recovered to be able to race and there shouldn't be any problems with the leg."
The extra canon bone is a hereditary deformity but when fixed early in life will not grow back.
"Horses have evolved to be the way they are and the gene, which tells the leg not to grow in that manner was switched off in this case," Hilbert said.
Sutherland, who races the filly with friend and Murrumbidgee Turf Club director Brett Bradley, didn't have any great hopes for Spare Parts, which obviously got her name from the extra peg she started life with.
"When I got her back home I thought we might as well break her in and then we gave her a preparation and she has quite good and very sound," he said.
At her first start at Albury Spare Parts charged home into third before failing at Wagga last start, but there is hope.
"She has shown us enough ability to suggest she can be a winner," Sutherland said. "But she has already beaten the odds, just to be where she is.
"Other than a bump on the leg you wouldn't know the other leg had been there."
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