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

2/01  Pity

2:20 p.m. Another sudden retirement news. Mikki Queen has been announced to leave the turf to become broodmare from this spring.

It's a pity the only two G1 she won was the Japanese Oaks and Shuka-sho. I can't wipe off the feeling that she could have won at least another, if she'd gone more up front in her races. Mikki queen had great instantaneous speed but have always struggled to switch on her boost. If she'd been able to ignite her enigine more smoothly, that might have brought her another crown or two.

The End

Caterpillar

2/02  Dubious

2:08 p.m. While news of big names are coming in and Tokyo is being attacked by snow, Tokyo Shinbun-hai will be run this week as well as Kisaragi-sho in Kyoto.

Greater London is favored as of this afternoon, but I'm dubious because he's drawn the outmost barrier. That automatically means he has to stick out on the outside to run extra distance, which is a disadvantage considering the course.

The End

Caterpillar

2/03  Lys Gracieux Has High Potential

3:09 p.m. It seems like today's steeplechase, the 4th race at Tokyo tracks has been cancelled due to the piled up snow. I'm not sure if there's still snow piled up on the course, but well, to be on the safe side. Other races are being held although the start of the earlier ones have been delayed, so things should be alright by tomorrow. Assumingly, we will be able to have races on dry turf in a day.

I will key Lys Gracieux for tokyo Shinbun-hai. She's got high potential, it won't be such a difficult task for her to come within third place against these competitors. On the wheel would be, Denko Ange, Satono Ares, Kluger, Stormy Sea and Greater London, just in case he slips in third.

The End

Caterpillar

2/04  There You Go!

6:06 p.m. There you go, LYS-GRA-CIEUX--!! Wish I'd bought the betting ticket, though.

If Denko Ange had stuck to the inside till the last minute, the payout must have been much bigger but a win's a win. Congrats to you all!

The End

Caterpillar

2/05  Kyoto Kinen This Week

3:48 p.m. Well Lys Gracieux might have some mental damage breaking through the pack like that, so it would be better for her to have at least 3 weeks' gap before her next race to recover.

Meanwhile, Kyoto Kinen is going to be held this weekend. With Ray De Oro not to mention, Al Ain, Deirdre, Mikki Rocket and Mozu Katchan entered. The bad news is though, that Christophe cannot ride Ray De Oro this week due to suspension. The substitute rider is going to be Dario Vargiu. Interesting!

The End

Caterpillar

2/06  Less Than Two Weeks

2:09 p.m. While I've been talking of Kyoto Kinen, we've entered the second week of February which means that February Stakes, this year's first G1 race is less than two weeks ahead.

Here are the names of horses entered in the race so far: Awardee, Asukano Roman, Incantation, Kafuji Take, King's Guard, K T Brave, Cosmo Canadian, Kopano Charlie, Gold Dream, Saita Three Red, Sound True, Sunrise Nova, T M Jinsoku, nishiken Mononofu, Nobo Baccara, Nonkono Yume, Hideno Imperial, Best Warrior, Meisho Sumitomo, Molto Bene, Mondo Classe, Lalabel, Let's Go Donki, and London Town.

Hmmm... so Gold Dream is coming out without running a prep race. He's won February Stakes last year with the same race schedule, but then he hadn't won Champions' Cup in the year before.

The End

Caterpillar

2/07  Lived And Learned

1:54 p.m. Back to the topic of Kyoto Kinen.

The expected win odds as of today for Ray De Oro is announced as well, less than 2/1. Of course, the odds will change after the betting tickets start to sell, but still it's an odds that puts out an alert for me. If the odds stay this low, I'd have to say it's going to be a risky bet. There were many a times I'd been hurt in such a case and I've lived and learned.

The End

Caterpillar

2/08  Three Days In A Row

3:12 p.m. It's going to be a consecutive holiday this weekend and races will be held on all three days including Monday, 12th next week. Daily Queen Cup, a grade three race for fillies will be held on Monday, and Tsuzumimon the daughter of Katamachi Botan is running in this race.

Many great fillies has passed this race on their way to stardum including Admire Miyabi, Major Emblem, Ukiyono Kaze, Virxina, Whale Capture and more. I think Tsuzumimon has the potential to perform well on Tokyo mile if not win the race, thanks to her father Strong Return, the 2012 Yasuda Kinen champion. Plus, it's encouraging that Mirco is going to ride her.

The End

Caterpillar

2/09  Not That It Matters

2:37 p.m. The win odds for Ray De Oro is still low but the barrier draw for Kyoto Kinen has been announced, so let's take a look.

Primera Azul in post number 1, Kento o in 2, Deirdre in 3, Clincher in 4, Mozu Katchan in 5, Ray De Oro in 6, Crocosmia in 7, Action Star in 8, Mikki Rocket in 9, and Al Ain in 10. Not that it matters much with such small number of horses racing...

The End

Caterpillar

2/10  My Call For Kyoto Kinen

2:02 p.m. The Pyeongchang winter Olympics has begun and I'm getting excited. Hope the athletes can perform their best and be without regret.

Meanwhile the win odds for Ray De Oro kept inching down and I have decided to put him on the wheel, despite his high potential. My key horse will be Al Ain. His rider Yuga Kawada, is my only anxiety. on the wheel would be, Deirdre, Clincher, Mozu Katchan, and Ray de Oro.

As for Kyodo Tsushin-hai, I'll stay put to just watch which horse is going to perform well considering the classic races.

The End

Caterpillar

2/11  Pushing My Luck

6:17 p.m. Two wins in a row, tee-hee! Al Ain has fought well on the last stretch to come in second. Good job well done! That is to the horse not the rider as he only got in the way of the horse. He'd struggled to force Al Ain down on the home stretch. If it hadn't been for that fuss, perhaps the horse might have taken over Clincher by a nose.

Anyway, thought I'd push my luck while I'm getting lucky and decided to call tomorrow's Queen Cup, too. My key horse is Tsuzumimon not to mention, on a wheel of Social Club (Buena Vista's daughter), Tetradrachm, Mau Lea, Red Belle Rose, and Ohana.

The End

Caterpillar

2/12  Really Grateful

6:35 p.m. Unfortunately, I couldn't win three races in a row. Sorry, folks.

It turns out that performing well in grade races around this time of year was too tough for fillies. There were several horses that came out losing their weight, which shows that their condition weren't fit to win. Sadly, Tsuzumimon was among them. She'll need some time to recover, but then we still have time before Ohka-sho.

Despite my loss, I was overwhelmed by Cow's report that this website had been ranked within top 3! Thanks to you all who support us, I'm really gratefull.

The End

Caterpillar

2/13  Think About February Stakes

2:41 p.m. And now, the spring G1 season of 2018 is beginning with this weekend's February Stakes. I thought I ought to start thinking about it while luck is on my side.

Looking at the results of the past ten years, I realize that there are only a few winners that also performed well the following year except for Kopano Rickey who won twice in a row. Horses such as Kane Hekili, Success Brocken, or Espoir City couldn't win but came within third place in their later challenge against February Stakes.

I found something that these horses share. One is that their first win is accomplished either when they are four years old or five. Rickey and Success Brocken are the types that won when they were 4-year-olds and kept their strength until the next year. On the other hand, Kane Hekili or Espoir City took some time to perform well for the second time, Kane Hekili due to injury and Espoir City, possibly due to fatigue and stress. Both came back when they were 7 or 8 years old. If Transcend had been able to follow his career up to eight years old, perhaps he might have made a comeback, too.

The End

Caterpillar

2/14  Kopano Rickey Type

2:50 p.m. Last year's February Stakes and Champions' Cup's winner Gold Dream, falls on the same type as Kopano Rickey or Success Brocken since he was 4 years old last year. That means he has a great chance to perform well.

However, I'm being suspicious because Kopano Rickey and Success Brocken were both horses that race up front, while Gold Dream tends to take over from behind. Using such instantaneous force can leave damage to the horse. But then, Gold Dream hasn't raced after Champions' Cup. That's more than two months' gap. His condition might be the most crucial factor in this race.

The End

Caterpillar

2/15  Can't Cut Him Out

4:05 p.m. Nonetheless, Gold Dream has a high potential against Tokyo mile.

He's run Tokyo mile four times in his career winning three of them (including February Stakes 2017) and the remaining one coming in second place. Tokyo mile is a unique course and distance, and as far as I know only horses that have aptitude can perform well regardless of turf or dirt.

Gold Dream's career backs up his aptitude. That's why I can't just cut him out just because he's favored.

The End

Caterpillar

2/16  Consult My Training Squad

1:53 p.m. I've been thinking about February Stakes (well, mainly about Gold Dream) for almost a week and now, the barrier draw has been announced so let's take a look.

Nishiken Mononofu in post number 1, K T Brave in 2, Nobo Baccara in 3, Awardee in 4, Sound True in 5, Incantation in 6, Lalabel in 7, Meisho Sumitomo in 8, King's Guard in 9, T M Jinsoku in 10, London Town in 11, Nonkono Yume in 12, Let's Go Donki in 13, Gold Dream in 14, Best Warrior in 15 and Sunrise Nova in 16.

T M Jinsoku drew a good barrier considering he's going up front. As for Gold Dream, I'm more concerened about his condition. I'd have to consult my training squad about that.

The End

Caterpillar

2/17  One-Two Finish

3:49 p.m. Sorry my upload is late, I've been fully enjoying men's figure skating of Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics. Great job well done, boys!

So here's my call for this season's first G1, February Stakes. My key is T M Jinsoku. I had trouble making up my mind, but I chose Jinsoku eventually as information from the training squad didn't sound so good for Gold Dream. On the wheel would be, Awardee, Sound True, Incantation, Let's Go Donki, and Gold Dream. Hope I'll win a one-two finish like our figure skating gold and silver medalists.

The End

Caterpillar

2/18  You Again

5:13 p.m. It's you again, Nonko...

It was completely my fault to have chosen T M Jinsoku as the key horse, just because I wasn't so sure about Gold Dream. Jinsoku is a Kurofune descendant which meant that I shouldn't have trusted him in his second G1 challenge. I'd been taught a lesson with Aerolithe, hadn't I? Stupid me, stupid me!

As for Nonkono Yume, I feel regretful very much since I had been on alert and yet I couldn't see the possibility of the race turning into a high lap. If I'd been more careful, perhaps I might have realized that Nishiken Mononofu will try and take a lead. At any rate Nonko, it's you again...

The End

Caterpillar

2/19  Season Is Moving

4:35 p.m. Must make time to review February Stakes well. Though the one problem for me is that even if I analyze my mistakes well, I tend to forget about it by the next year...

The season is slowly but steadily moving forward and this week it's time for Nakayama Kinen. The entry list seems to be short, though I see big names like Persian Knight, Aerolithe or Vivlos, aaaand Win Bright! I'm happy to be able to see Win Bright race again, but personally I think he deserves a more wider gap between races in order to perform at his best.

The End

Caterpillar

2/20  What Surprised Me

2:24 p.m. Hankyu-hai, a prep race for Takamatsuno-miya Kinen will also be held on the same day as Nakayama Kinen. Last year's Sprinters' Stakes champion Red Falx will be running this race.

What surprised me though, was the name of Moanin' on the entry list. Moanin' is the winner of 2016 February Stakes. It is not rare for horses that mainly race on turf to change its course to dirt races, but the reverse usually don't work out. Thus, we horse race fans tend to think it's only a step concerning the future dirt races.

I wonder what the owner and crew have in mind? Perhaps they are aiming to win a turf sprint race, seeing that the horse didn't do so bad in his first turf race, Hanshin Cup.

The End

Caterpillar

2/21  A New Start

2:49 p.m. It seems Moanin' is seeking for his future on turf.

An article revealed that his crew was aiming to win a sprint G1, following the result of Moanin's firs turf race in his career. In his previous race Hanshin Cup the horse came in 6th place, roughly about 3 lengths behind the winner Isla Bonita. That itself doesn't sound so promising to me, though the trainer says Moanin's performance in the last three furlongs was outstanding, which was clocked as 33.7 seconds, the second fastest of all.

Well, we will just have to wait and see what happens. However, judging from the fact that he's won February Stakes and also from his background, he might be able to compete in the 1200m top category.

The End

Caterpillar

2/22  Rivals Also Getting Ready

2:21 p.m. Congrats to the Takagi sisters and their team for breaking the Olympic record and winning women's speed skating pursuit! Your performance was nothing but awesome and I am proud of you all as a Japanese!

While the athletes are fighting their best, last year's Mile Championship champion Persian Knight is training for his first race this season. It seems 1800m could be his specialty, but you never know until the race runs. His Wednesday training seems to have ended in success according to an article, though his rivals are also getting ready for the race, for example, Aerolithe.

It might be tough for Win Bright, but I'll keep cheering.

The End

Caterpillar

2/23  A Good Start

4:55 p.m. Unfortunately, Satoko Miyahara couldn't win a medal this time despite her personal best score (her peformance was beautiful!). But I know she's one tough girl and she's only nineteen. She will come back as a the true queen of figure skating. So let's not worry about her any more and take a look at the barrier draw of Nakayama Kinen.

Meiner Sage in post number 1, Sakura Empereur in 2, Vivlos in 3, Persian Knight in 4, Win Bright in 5, Meiner Honey in 6, Decypher in 7, Maltese Apogee in 8, Shonan Bach in 9 and drrrr... Aerolithe in 9.

Drawing an outer post under this condition is usually a disadvantage, though Aerolithe can go up front so hope she would focus on making a good start.

The End

Caterpillar

2/24  A Lifetime Experience

1:54 p.m. Our women's curling team seems to have a lot more room to improve, but they are fighting well. Go ladies, playing in the Olympic games is a lifetime experience!

For Nakayama Kinen, I chose Aerolithe for my key horse. I wanted to push Win Bright of course however, Nakayama turf seems firm and fast. So I picked Aerolithe over Win Bright since she has a fast record. On the wheel would be Persian Knight, Win Bright, Meiner Honey and Decypher (the trainig squad has pushed him).

The End

Caterpillar

2/25  Should Have Guessed

6:39 p.m. Maltese Apogee took the lead and it became an avrage lap which advantaged Win Bright.

Oh yes, I should have guessed that if Apogee could take the lead smoothly, it would be like this! What nagged in my mind was that the rider was not Bushizawa but Shibata. Though it was good for Win Bright since this horse performs better when the lap becomes tighter that it takes about 35 seconds in the lat three furlongs. Aerolithe was simply not ready judging from her weight, while Persian Knight may need some more time to recover from the damage of Mile Championship.

The End

Caterpillar

2/26  Interesting And Important

4:54 p.m. Before I know it it's already time for Yayoi-sho and Tulip-sho, the prep races for the spring classics.

Wagnerian and Danon Premium both undefeated, will be racing against each other for the first time in Yayoi-sho. The Hanshin Juvenile Fillies winner Lucky Lilac will be running in Tulip-sho for the first time after her G1 victory. Both races will be interesting as well as important.

The End

Caterpillar

2/27  A Gift Called Experience

3:18 p.m. The center of interest for this year's Yayoi-sho probably would be the match between the two undefeated horses Danon Premium, and Wagnerian. Both of them have run in three races up until now and haven't lost one.

One of the few differences between the two is that Danon Premium has already won a G1 whereas Wagnerian has not. This could decide their outcome of Yayoi-sho. Winning a top category race leaves a big damage on the horse and yet, it will also give the horse a gift called experience. Danon Premium's experience of having won a G1 among 16 horses is huge.

I'm not sure how many horses will actually run in Yayoi-sho this year at this point, but if the barriers become full, Premium might have the advantage. That is though, on the premise that he has recovered from his damage.

The End

Caterpillar

2/28  Double-edged Sword

3:28 p.m. In the meantime, Tulip-sho known as the prep race for Ohka-sho will be held this Saturday, with Juvenile Fillies winner Lucky Lilac and runner-up Lily Noble. Additionally, Mau Lea also entered in this race finished 3rd place in Juvenile Fillies.

Tulip-sho is run under similar coindition as Ohka-sho, that's why it's been the prep race for so long. Same course, same distance. But this could become a double-edged sword considering the damage it leaves on the horses, especially for those detouring from Miho stables just like Mau Lea which is located in the Kanto area. It's still fresh in memory how Soul Stirring got derailed after having to travel to Hanshin tracks three times in four months, for Hanshin Juvenile Fillies, Tulip-sho, and Ohka-sho. She did hang on till the Japanese Oaks, but her fall season was terrible.

The End

Caterpillar