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2018/ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

1/01  Successors

5:20 p.m. Happy New Year everyone! Hope we have a geat year ahead of us!

It is exciting just to imagine what kind of horses we might meet this year after Kitasan Black has retired. Things are going to change and I personally expect other great horses to take over Kitasan's place, although honestly I won't ask for much for the new 5-year-olds.

The End

Caterpillar

1/02  Being Too Gentle

8:40 p.m. Starting to think about Nakayama Kinpai.

The most favored would probably be Seda Brilantez, though he will need a middle to outer barrier to avoid getting squashed in the pack. I was apalled to see ths horse has only run in four races although he's turnng 4 years old. That's being too gentle.

Win Bright will also need an outer barrier unless the track condition is soft, but if he goes up front and the lap lags, he'll get a chance to perform well.

The End

Caterpillar

1/03  Too Risky

11:34 p.m. Meanwhile, the most favored in Kyoto Kinpai would probabaly be Red en Ciel.

This horse also wouldn't want to get squashed in the pack so would need an outer barrier unless Kyoto's course conditin is either soft or exceptionally firm and fast like the year-end Hanshin tracks.

Another troubling thing for this horse is that the gap since his previous race seems to be too short, which means he might not have recovered from his damage. Well, a slow lap might help, though. Still, many things depend on the barrier he draws. So I wouldn't set him as the top of my trifecta, he's too risky.

The End

Caterpillar

1/04  Almost Irrelevant

10:00 p.m. There is another grade race next Monday. Since the 8th falls on a national holiday, JRA races will be run three days in a row starting Saturday with the east and west Kinapi.

Shinzan Kinen, a mile grade race for the 3-year-olds will be run on Monday. Every year expressions like "gateway to success" or "passport to the classics" dance around in the media, though I can't recall any recent horses that won a classic race after winning Shinzan Kinen. I've always thought winning a Kyoto mile race doesn't necessarily lead to winning Satsuki-sho or Japanese D'erby, as the ability required to win a Kyoto mile is different from that of the classics, almost irrelevant.

The End

Caterpillar

1/05  Let's Get Ready!

7:18 p.m. The barrier has been announced while I was out trying to sell off unwatned things to Hard Off and having the two most unwanted stuff thrusted back as unable to buy. Humph.

Have been troubled as the usual Kinpai, but decided the key horse for Nakayama, Meiner Milano. On the wheel would be Win Bright, Outliers, Seda Brilantes, Black Bago and Kento O.

As for Kyoto Kinpai, I'd key Kluger on a wheel of Rabbit Run, Danon Major, Red en Ciel, Black Moon and Suzuka Devious.

The End

Caterpillar

1/06  How It Would Turn Out

3:00 p.m. The track condition of Nakayama is not taking as much time as I'd thought, or so it seems. Some horses are obviously overweight as Kinpai is an irregularly scheduled race, including Win Bright, Black Bago and my key horse, Meiner Milano. Wonder how this would turn out.

As for Kyoto, there aren't any horses that are apparently overweight. Laps have been lagging in the earlier races so I can't be for sure, but Kyoto tracks could possibly be taking more time.

The End

Caterpillar

1/07  Would Have

6:03 p.m. The payout was low but a win's a win. Thanks for the cheer and congrats to those who believed my call and bought betting tickets! It seems Kluger needs another gear to win a G1, though. Black Moon might have a chance.

Nakayama was also close, since I was thinking of changing my key horse to Win Bright around noon yesterday. I had to finish up this Murmur in a rush and forgot the whole thing in the process. If I had done that, I would have had room to squeeze in Strange Quark on the wheel from my list. Darn.

The End

Caterpillar

1/08  The Next Gentil Donna

5:09 p.m. Oh yes, there was Gentil Donna on the chapmion list of Sinzan Kinen. But that goes back to 2012, six years ago. I think Rouge Buck has also won too, though she didn't win a G1.

Almond Eye has won this year's Shinzan Kinen. She seems to have high potential but then, you still can't tell whether she will become the next Gentil Donna or not at this point. At least she performed well on a soft track, lagged-lapped race which merely shows she has high potential in such conditions. Her short career proves that she performs better in a mile race rather than a seven-furlong, also when the distance becomes longer. That can be a great advantage considering the classic races to come in the spring.

Another thing that was secretly cheering for me was that Tsuzumimon has come in second after Almond Eye. She's the daughter of Katamachi Botan, who was the daughter of Tayasu Bloom, one of my favorite horses. Hope to see her in Ohka-sho like her mom.

The End

Caterpillar

1/09  Have No Intention

5:01 p.m. I had some spare time between work so I've took a peek on the entry form for Nikkei Shinshun-hai coming up this weekend.

I was a bit surprised to see Hit The Target on the list. He's ten years old and still running on turf, great! And then my eyes stopped on Mikki Rocket, five years old. He is assumed to be the most favored as he's the defending champion, though I think he has a lot of hurdles to clear in order to win. As I've said, I have no intention to buy five-year-olds unless I have to.

The End

Caterpillar

1/10  The Three Selectors

4:00 p.m. Best Horse Awards for 2017 has been announced.

Kitasan Black was chosen as the best horse of the year not to mention, but an article has revealed that he didn't win all the votes. There were actually three selectors who didn't cast their votes to Kitasan. I can understand that as long as they have plausible reasons, though these three votes were casted on Oju Chosan.

Oju Chosan is a horse that race in steeplechase. And there's a different award for the best steeplechase horse. I wonder what these three selectors had in mind?

The End

Caterpillar

1/11  Great Admire Groove

1:39 p.m. A filly has been born yesterday morning to Maurice the champion horse from 2015, reports Nikkan Sports.

What's impressive about it is that the colt's mother Admire Temba (broodmare Admire Groove) has Duramente and Rulership as her siblings. That means Admire Groove is the mother of Duramente! Great Admire Groove, or should I say great Air Groove!? I've been too caught up in his sireline that I'd totally forgotten about his mother.

The filly will make her debut in 2020 Olympic year at earliest. Can't wait to see her run!

The End

Caterpillar

1/12  Calling A Race

1:39 p.m. The barrier draw for Nikkei Shinshun-hai has been announced, and Mikki Rocket has drawn post number 8.

Four out of the twelve competitors are 5-year-olds, so suppose I cut them all out? And what if I cut out three more who are over 8 years old? Subtract seven from twelve leaves only five! Was calling a race this simple?

The End

Caterpillar

1/13  Can't Be That Simple

2:06 p.m. Well, calling Nikkei Shinhun-hai can't be that simple, I know.

I was thinking of putting Mondo Intero on the key, but then I dismissed the idea as the horse has been racing from the back. If the lap lags, that can become a critical damage. Instead, I chose Perform A Promise. Yes, he's the third favored in win odds thanks to Mirco, but I thought he could come within third place.

On the wheel would be Santa Fe Chief, Mondo Intero, Mikki Rocket (just in case), Soul Impact. I have a feeling though, that it's going to be a Deep Impact festival since the track isn't soft.

The End

Caterpillar

1/14  Performed A Promise

7:20 p.m. Perform A Promise did perform a promise to sin Nikkei Shinshun-hai. Nothing seems to be able to stop Mirco.

Mondo Intero was dodged to the outside in the last stretch, but that's the risk you need to take when going from the back. You could get your course blocked, or get bumped into. That's the price you pay when going from behind, though Mirco ususally gets away for free.

The End

Caterpillar

1/15  Interesting Combination

3:05 p.m. Surprising news has come in.

2015's Arima Kinen winner Gold Actor, who has been in recess since last year's Takaraduka Kinen, is running in AJC Cup this weekend. That itself isn't shocking, but the rider is going to be Yutaka Take.

Of course, Yutaka must be free after Kitasan Black has retired. But Gold Actor! That's going to be an interesting combnination. I wonder which race the crew are aiming at, Takaraduka or Tennno-sho(spring)? I mean, the horse's racing schedule would be decided, depending on the target.

The End

Caterpillar

1/16  Chukyo Nine Furlongs Dirt

2:10 p.m. Meanwhile, Tokai Stakes is going to be run on Chukyo dirt tracks. Nine furlongs on Chukyo dirt is the same as Champions' Cup.

T M Jinsoku is running and probably going to be the most favored, considering his performance in last year's Champions' Cup. He won't lose big as he's already proved he has a high potential in the G1 unless, the horse has considerable damage from consecutive races last year, and is not in the state to race.

The End

Caterpillar

1/17  The Bigger Goal

12:44 p.m. Ray De Oro, last year's Japanese D'erby champion has come back to his stable from recess. News reports that he has started his training for Kyoto Kinen (G2) held on February 11th.

His trainer Kazuo Fujisawa seems to have mentioned, "we have to work harder this year," but I wonder which race he is aiming for? Because Ray De Oro is scheduled to run Kyoto Kinen, surely that is going to be his prep race for a bigger goal, but what? It could be Tennno-sho (spring) or Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong. Or it could be Dubai Sheema Classic. It's hard to guess.

The End

Caterpillar

1/18  See What Happens

2:28 p.m. It seems there has been an accident to Seda Brillantes, the winner of Nakayama Kinpai.

According to a news source, the horse has been diagnosed as "a slight chip fracture of the left foreleg." I don't know how slight or serious that imjury could be, but I'm sure the horse will go into recess again. If my memory is correct, Seda Brillantes had been in recess after Argentina Republic Cup held on 5, November last year until Nakayama Kinpai.

See what happens by being too gentle? The poor horse weren't given enough time or experience to build his strength and physics while he was growing.

The End

Caterpillar

1/19  Promising!

1:24 p.m. It has been officially announced yesterday that Hugh Bowman is going to ride Cheval Grand in the spring Tennno-sho.

Great! If it weren't for Hugh, Cheval Grand probably wouldn't have won last year's Japan Cup. It seems Cheval is entering Osaka-hai in which someone else is going to ride him, but his goal is Tenno-sho together with Hugh Bowman. I think Osaka-hai is going to be a good step for Tennno-sho. Promising!

The End

Caterpillar