How do you turn a white filly pink? Add heat, add water.
This is Utzon after she raced in the Starmakers race at Muswellbrook's country championship wild card race day last Sunday. Not only was the world's top jockey Hugh Bowman there, (winning the main race) but also this rare white filly.
She is so unusual that when she trains on the track at Warwick Farm other horses "spook" at her.
Utzon is the daughter of The Opera House who also went pink when she was washed down (below, right). Owned by John Singleton, the mare raced nine times for one win (at her last race start) before she was retired to stud in New Zealand. And one of her foals is now identical, including in washdown. She also a half-brother who is identical, Grand Bernini, who won on the weekend.
Muswellbrook race club general manger Duane Dowell said Utzon took a lot of the interest at the wild card country championship race day, especially as she headed out on to the track.
"It is not only rare to see a filly like this, but also rare to see a two-year-old filly bred along staying lines race so early."
Utzon is trained by Victorian trainers Dave Eustace and Ciaron Maher, who now have a Sydney base at Warwick Farm.
"She caught everyone's eye as she was going out on to the track."
The post on Muswellbrook Club's website also produced this shot of a pink stockhorse.
It was a great day for Muswellbrook Race Club with rain actually turning the track heavy after more than a year of drought. Almost 35mm has fallen in the parched Upper Hunter area in the last week.
The country wild card championship was won by Noble Boy, adding some strong substance to the country championship final at Randwick, according to Duane Dowell.
The club's big cup day is this Friday. The 2019 Muswellbrook Cup on March 29, will see ambassador Lizzie Jelfs judge the JTS Realty Muswellbrook NSW fashions on the field, with great prizes on offer.
Meantime, a star on the way to the barriers, Utzon only plugged to the line finishing 7th of 12 in her 1000m race, although showing early toe. Everyone agrees, that with her pedigree, the best is ahead of her, bred in the pink, her true colours will shine through later.
But Ciaron Maher's assistant trainer Annabel Neasham said Utzon would be kept to sprinting races as she throws more to her sire's sprinter side than her mother's staying side.
Neasham said Utzon was unique, so much so, other horses spooked at her when when was training early in the morning at Warwick Farm. "They often spook at her because they've never seen anything like her before. She is a very natural filly and she just didn't handle the heavy track at Muswellbrook. She turns pink when she sweats or is washed down and her fine coat gets wet, and you just see her skin.
"We are looking for a suncreen sponsor," Neasham joked.
Utzon's half brother, courtesy of Sharon Lee Chapman photography, right, shows the same pink.
Neasham said skincare was of high importance and Utzon was given a special mask and blanket when she was put out in summer to make sure she didn't get sun burnt.
And if punters want to see her again her next start is likely to be in a 900m 2-year-old maiden at Newcastle in the next few weeks.