White hot: Coloured racehorse takes out third big race

Hayato Yoshida was thrilled to notch up a Group One win on Sodashi at Tokyo Racecourse at the weekend.
Hayato Yoshida was thrilled to notch up a Group One win on Sodashi at Tokyo Racecourse at the weekend. © Japan Racing Association

Striking white thoroughbred racehorse Sodashi has won her third top-level race in Japan, taking out the Group 1 Victoria Mile in Tokyo at the weekend, qualifying for a tilt at a Breeders’ Cup race in Kentucky in November.

Sodashi, the 2021 Best Three-Year-Old Filly in Japan, was fourth favourite for the race after a last-start third on a dirt track.

Breaking sharply from stall five, the four-year-old traveled by the rails in fourth and steered slightly to the outside entering the lane to make a bid. She broke loose from the pack passing the 200m pole, promptly overtook the frontrunner and pulled away with an impressive late drive for a two-length victory.

She has now won all four of her starts on turf over a mile, with the other two Group One races the 2020 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies and the Japanese 1000 Guineas (Oka Sho) in 2021. Sodashi’s latest win was also trainer Naosuke Sugai’s 14th Group One title in Japan, and the second time he has won the Victoria Mile.

It was the fifth Group One race for jockey Hayato Yoshida following his Osaka Hai victory with Potager last month.

“The filly was relaxed and in good condition when I rode her in the post parade. Once she entered the gate, she was focused and was able to make a good break and I was able to ride her in good rhythm while holding down her pace,” Yoshida said.

“She responded well at the stretch and when I urged her to go. As today’s race included a very strong field, it was like a dream for a white horse to be able to win a G1 race at Tokyo Racecourse.”

The Victoria Mile was part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “win and you’re in” race for November’s Filly and Mare Turf race at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in Keeneland.

Sodashi is by the grey stallion Kurofune and out of the famous “spotted wonder”, Buchiko, who is registered as white, but has dark chestnut “medicine hat” markings on her head, and jagged chestnut dapples or spots on her body, similar to appaloosa markings. Buchiko’s dam is the pure white mare Shirayukihime, by Sunday Silence. Buchiko is by King Kamehameha.

Sodashi’s dam Buchiko (King Kamehameha x Shirayukihime).

The white colouring of this line is through a specific gene mutation, the KIT gene, which plays an important role in colour during embryonic development, causing an absence of melanocytes in depigmented skin areas.

Sodashi was bred by Kaneko Makoto Holdings, which retains ownership. The owners also have a “coloured” full brother to Sodashi’s dam in training with Mitsumasa (Mitsu) Nakauchida; six-year-old Buchini is by King Kamehameha and out of Shirayukihime. He has won three races and about $NZ500,000.

Sodashi has a bay older full sister, and a younger half brother, by Maurice, a son of Screen Hero.

» More on coloured thoroughbreds

Sodashi and her connections after the four-year-old's win in the Victoria Mile in Tokyo.
Sodashi and her connections after the four-year-old’s win in the Victoria Mile in Tokyo. © Japan Racing Association


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