AN extremely rare white horse has become the first of that colour in history to win a Group 1 race.
Sodashi was labelled an ‘icon’ in Japan after her record-setting victory in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies at Hanshin on Sunday.
The eye-catching thoroughbred has gained a huge fan base given her striking all-white colouring.
She is so adored she had a 70-minute long YouTube stream set up live so viewers could follow her every step – and just under 50,000 tuned in.
The two-year-old had them all cheering when winning by a nose in the top level race – the first white thoroughbred to do so.
Group 1 races are like the Champions League of racing, where all the best horses and jockeys compete.
Sodashi was sent off as 11-5 favourite and has now added to the two Group 3 wins she picked up earlier this year.
Incredibly, Sodashi’s jockey on Sunday said she ‘hated’ going near the gate at the start.
Despite this, she powered home strongly to make history in style.
Jockey Hayato Yoshida said: “Going into the race as favourite was a bit of pressure, but I’m thrilled with the outcome.
“She hated to even go near the gate but I’m relieved that all went well and that we were able to be positioned just as I hoped.
“The going affected her turn of foot but she gave all she had. There’s room for improvement, and I hope we can get her ready for next year’s Classics.”
White thoroughbreds are considered a real rarity in the world of racing.
Japanese-bred and trained Hayayakko – another white – won the Group 3 Leopard Stakes at Niigata last August.
And the appropriately named White Vessel has won three times in Japan.
But Sodashi is the first white thoroughbred in history to win a race at this top level.
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