Meanwhile in … Osaka: meet Butchini, Japan’s latest ‘unicorn’

Horse Racing Butchini
Butchini, whose distinctive markings have attracted a cult following in Japan. Photo: Twitter @chihiro_gs

White, with grey splodges: second career win for horse with coat of many colours

Japan: With the likes of Contrail, Gran Alegria, Chrono Genesis and Daring Tact set to do their stuff in 2021, it is no wonder considerable excitement surrounds Japanese racing at the moment.

Great white wonder: fairytale result as ‘idol horse’ Sodashi claims Japanese 1,000 Guineas

However, on Sunday it was a less talented but more obviously recognisable horse who stole the spotlight as the five-year-old Butchini landed the second success of her career in a 1,400m (7f) event at Hanshin, the major JRA track just 20km outside Japan’s second city, Osaka.

Mind you, there is no real need to explain why the mare has attracted such a big following in Japan, where she is known as a ‘unicorn’. Just look at a photo. I mean, how do you describe that? White with grey splodges?

Butchini is by the Japan Dirt Derby winner King Kamehameha out of famous dam Shirayukihime, from whom she derives her colour. 

She is thus a full-sister to the ‘idol horse’ Buchiko, whose similarly distinctive markings drew international attention; her daughter is Sodashi, a G1-winning filly as a two-year-old who is set to be the cynosure of all eyes in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1,000 Guineas) at Hanshin on April 11.

Meanwhile, Buchiko’s full-brother Shironii also ran on Sunday’s card, coming a respectable fourth in the G2 Hanshin Daishoten at odds of 78-1. He, too, is totally white. With no grey splodges.

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