Connections of the only white registered thoroughbred in the UK will be crossing their fingers that it stands out as much on the track as it does in the record books.

Out of the 67,000 thoroughbred foals born in Britain and Ireland over the past four years recorded in the Weatherbys General Stud Book (GSB), 74% are bay. The others are mainly brown or chestnut. But there is only one white foal — The White Admiral.

“To have a white thoroughbred is extremely rare. There are thousands of grey foals registered, but just the one white,” said Paul Greeves from Weatherbys.

“He is the first we have had registered in over 30 years — the last was Checkmont back in 1974.”

The White Admiral was foaled in Co Tipperary in 2005 and was bred by Elizabeth Kennedy.

He is now in Lambourn with top National Hunt trainer Nicky Henderson and is expected to make his racecourse debut later this year.

“The White Admiral is doing well so far, whether he’ll prove to be a great racehorse, time will tell,” said Mr Henderson’s assistant Tom Symonds.

Mr Greeves added: “To be defined as white the horse must have no pigment colour in any part of its coat. It has a chromosome mutation which causes depigmentation. It is not albino.”

The Weatherbys GSB is published every four years and the new edition — featuring The White Admiral — is out on 11 September.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (10 September, ’09)