2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

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

3/01  Experience Is Crucial

5:13 p.m. I'm feeling a pang of anxiety for Wagnerian because he hasn't experienced a really tough race on a tricky course. His debut race was on Chukyo tracks but then there were merely nine other horses running. No squashing, no fighting over positions.

As I've said earlier, experience is crucial for young race horses. Well, it seems the entry has been closed with 11 horses which might advantage Wagnerian, though there's still the problem of Nakayama course trickiness. Plus, the rider of course, is another concern.

The End

Caterpillar

3/02  Who Knows?

2:19 p.m. The barrier draw for Yayoi-sho has been announced!

Obsession in post number 1, Arawn in 2 (didn't know he was an Orfevre descendant), Gendarme in 3, Revealing in 4, Heavy Tank in 5, Asakusa Spot in 6, Trust Kenshin in 7, Wagnerian in 8, Danon Premium cozily next to Wagnerian in 9, and Sun Rival in 10. So it's ten horses as a resutl (instead of eleven).

It may be tough for Gendarme who performed well in Hopeful Stakes, but who knows? The horse has already proven he could do well on Nakayama turf, there's no reason to suggest he won't this time except for his condition. Well, I'll leave that to the training squad.

The End

Caterpillar

3/03  I Know It's Uninspiring

4:00 p.m. Congrats to trainer, Koshiro Take for his first win (with his older brother Yutaka in the saddle)! It's good to see his new start in life with a success.

Yayoi-sho looks a bit one-sided since there seems to be a wide gap between the favored horses and the others. I know it's uninspiring but I'd key Danon Premium. He was more than two steps ahead in Asahi-hai Futurity Stakes and I think that hasn't changed. On the wheel would be Gendarme, Revealing, Wagnerian and Sans Rival. Gendarme was highly evalued by our training squad, whereas Heavy Tank was on the contrary (no surprise there, I guess). I wonder why the owner and crew risked to take this challenge to race in Yayoi-sho, when the horse hasn't even won a race (it is possible under regulations, but the horse needs to come in 2nd place at worst in order to enter Satsuki-sho, a G1).

The End

Caterpillar

3/04  Can Almost Announce

5:22 p.m. The result of Yayoi-sho was as expected. Don't think Danon Premium gave his best though, he still has some change. Considering that, it will be tough for other horses to beat him in Satsuki-sho, I believe.

In my humble opinion, the only blind spot for Danon Premium is that he does have some damage from Asahi-hai Futurity Stakes, since he seemed to fight the jockey harder today. But even that couldn't slow him down. He didn't burst out and shoot off to take the lead, he stayed put in the second position. The horse is not only fast but smart. I can almost announce him as my key horse for Satsuki-sho already.

We've seen most of the prep races without a specific horse to beat Danon Premium. All that's left now is the Spring Stakes. The results of this race is only to be awaited.

The End

Caterpillar

3/05  Personal Liking

3:36 p.m. Before Spring Stakes, Fillies' Review will be held this weekend as a prep race for Ohka-sho.

I've grown a personal liking for this race since the winner usually will be favored in Ohka-sho, and yet finishes behind third place. However, this year's entry list has disappointed me considerably. There are only two horses that have won open class races letalone, none have won a grade race yet. This means the chances for the winner (whichever horse it will be) to be favored in Ohka-sho is going to be little. Humph.

The End

Caterpillar

3/06  Filled With Question Marks

3:09 p.m. According to a Sports Hochi article, Heavy Tank who raced in Yayoi-sho has been anounced to retire as of March 6th. Yayoi-sho was the Heavy Tank's first race which is very unusual, and the horse had lost 22.9 seconds behind the winner, Danon Premium.

I was surprised to learn such a horse was actually entering a long-established race as Yayoi-sho, but I was appalled when I heard about its training from our training squad, that the horse wasn't ready yet to compete in a race. Why then, why did the owner and the trainer enter him??? And then this news of retirement. My head is filled with question marks at the moment. I wish someone would tell me the reason of Heavy Tank's retirement, at least.

The End

Caterpillar

3/07  Watching With Attention

2:20 p.m. Satono Diamond crew sound low about his last training before Kinko-sho.

Satono Diamond's last training before the race yesterday seemed to go well overall, but last week and the one before weren't in fact all well. The horse had lagged behind his old partner Satono Noblesse, worrying the trackmen from various media.

It's true that many Deep Impact descendants haven't performed well in their older years, especially the ones that raced in Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for example, Kizuna or Makahiki. Thus we are watching with attention the outcome of Satono Diamond's first race after coming back from France.

The End

Caterpillar

3/08  Watching With Attention

2:20 p.m. Satono Diamond crew sound low about his last training before Kinko-sho.

Satono Diamond's last training before the race yesterday seemed to go well overall, but last week and the one before weren't in fact all well. The horse had lagged behind his old partner Satono Noblesse, worrying the trackmen from various media.

It's true that many Deep Impact descendants haven't performed well in their older years, especially the ones that raced in Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for example, Kizuna or Makahiki. Thus we are watching with attention the outcome of Satono Diamond's first race after coming back from France.

The End

Caterpillar

3/09  Let's See

2:36 p.m. The barrier for Kinko-sho has been announced (about time) so let's take a look.

Yamakatsu Ace in post number 1, Maitres d'Art in 2, Bless Journey in 3, Satono Noblesse in 4, Satono Diamond in 5, dashing Blaze in 6, Denim And Ruby in 7, Action Star in 8, and Suave Richard in 9. Not to mention, Suave Richard still most favored in the expected win odds list, followed by Satono Diamond. Bless Journey might do well this time, depending on his condition.

Dernier Or, Orfevre's younger sister seems to have made it to Fillies Review, post number 2. She is said to resemble her great brother both in appearance and character, so let's see how she performs (Ohka-sho will be a whole lot more interesting according to her performance).

The End

Caterpillar

3/10  Hurry!!!

3:10 p.m. Cow has been dominating the desktop computer although I have a meeting right after this so I'm in a b*tch hurry (sorry!) typing this. There may be some typos but please forgive me.

My key for Kinko-sho would be Suave Richard. He tends to lean on the inside on clockwise courses, thus, the result of Arima Kinen. This time the course is counter clock-wise so there should be no problem except for the blank. On the wheel would be Yamakatsu Ace, Maitres d'Art, Bless Journey, Denim And Ruby. I'm afraid Satono Diamond will not do well. Arrrrgh, don't know what I'm writing any more.

The End

Caterpillar

3/11  Can't Be Ignored

Sorry, I forgot to upload.

And sorry I lost. I thought Yamakatsu can take the lead, but instead it was Noblesse. Satono Daimond also hung on in 3rd place, which I hadn't expected (I thought he'd be in 4th). I've learned that Diamond still can't be ignored.

The End

Caterpillar

3/12  When It Gets Difficult

3:25 p.m. Considering the finish time, lap time and his position throughout the race, Satono Diamond didn't do all that bad after all.

Personally, I think he was not in his prime condition, because if he was he probably would have taken over Noblesse to come in 2nd, close to Suave Richard. The lap was slow and Diamond was the only horse that came from behind with the fastest lap in the last three furlongs. This itself could be highly evaluated.

However, Satono Diamond has lost against Suave Richard by one and a half lengths. Even if Diamond's condition became better, Suave Richard who had gained 10kg since Arima Kinen, will definitely improve his condition too. So I can't just ignore Satono Diamond and yet, I am dubious about his further performance. This is when calling races become difficult.

The End

Caterpillar

3/13  A Deserted Race

3:19 p.m. Okay, I admit the members are a bit too... well, uninteresting combined with the small number of horses competing in this week's Hanshin Dai-shoten, but the expected win odds for Clincher, the most favored dropping down to less than 2/1 is going too far.

Hanshin Dai-shoten is one of the traditional prep races for the spring tennno-sho. I wonder since when it has become such a deserted race? As a step race, the winner of this race has always performed well in Tennno-sho in fact, better than other prep races until recently. Is it because horses from other races tend to perform well lately that big names don't enter Hanshin Dai-shoten any more?

The End

Caterpillar

3/14  A Horse To Beat

1:31 p.m. Time Flyer who won Hopeful Stakes (G1) is coming out in Wakaba Stakes this Saturday. I have been thinking of rivals that might defeat Danon Premium, but perhaps Time Flyer could be the one.

Since Danon Premium is two grades above most 3-year-olds, it is difficult to find a horse that can beat him. Considering Gendarme, the runner up behind Time Flyer in Hopeful Stakes has performed perfectly in Yayoi-sho and yet been completely defeated by Danon Premium by one and a half lengths, it may not be easy even for Time Flyer who is already a G1 horse. Still, if there's any horse to beat Premium, Time Flyer has the chance.

The End

Caterpillar

3/15  Realist

2:20 p.m. News source has reported that last year's Mile Championships winner, Persian Knight who came in 5th place in Nakayama Kinen is going to be ridden by Yuichi Fukunaga in his next race Osaka-hai (G1).

So Mirco literally ditched the horse when the possibility for this horse winning the G1 got less. There's a realist. Well, it's only my personal opinion.

The End

Caterpillar

3/16  Phew

2:14 p.m. The barrier draws for this weekend's races has been announced. First, let's look at Hanshin Dai-shoten.

Tomiken Slava in post number 1, Super Max in 2, Shiho in 3, Curren Mirotic in 4, Koei One Man in 5, Satono Chronicle in 6, Rainbow Line in 7, Clincher in 8, Muito Obrigado in 9, Albert in 10 and Yamakatsu Raiden in 11. Clincher is still the most favored, for your information.

Now the barrier draw for Spring Stakes. Bur Dubai in post number 1, Lucas in 2, Cosmo Ignaz in 3, Renovar in 4, Epoca d'Oro in 5, Happy Grin in 6, Big Smoky in 7, Stelvio in 8, Forza F in 9, Kafuji Vanguard in 10, Go for the Summit in 11, Meiner Fanrong in 12, and Raito Karakaze in 13. Phew, that was a task.

The End

Caterpillar

3/17  Couldn't Bear the Risk

3:18 p.m. Again, I'm running out of time... so will call only Hanshin Daisho-ten in a rush.

My key horse will be Albert. I know Fukunaga is riding, but it's okay as long as he come within 3rd place. On the wheel would be Tomiken Slava, Shiho, Rainbow Line, and Clincher. I just couldn't bear the risk of keying a horse with the win odds of 1/1.5.

The End

Caterpillar

3/18  Review Thoroughly

5:46 p.m. Have been out bike-riding, just got home and checked out the results of today's races only to see... my key horse Albert losing in 4th place by a neck!

Satono Chronicle I thought, may have a chance though decided against it trusting our training squad so that was my bad. But Fukunaga has blew it yet again. I didn't ask for a win, I just asked for a 3rd place and he goes from behind (2nd from last) as usual, in a how-can-it-be-a-tough-lap 3,000 meter race to miss the chance of coming within 3rd. Humph. Will view and review the video of the race thoroughly to confirm how this guy always disappoints me.

The End

Caterpillar

3/19  When The Winner Was Decided

2:21 p.m. And so I watched the video. Several times.

Speaking from the result, the lap didn't actually lag as I'd thought and the position Fukunaga took was consequently not so bad as the winner Rainbo Line, was just before him. What caused the gap at the finish line in my personal opinion, was the course he took. As Rainbow line cut the middle, Fukunaga led Albert to the outside. That means Albert has to run the last three furlongs faster than Rainbow Line, considering the loss in distance. That's when the winner was decided.

The End

Caterpillar

3/20  Everyone Thinks The Same

2:36 p.m. Spring, as well as fall is a busy season for Japanese horse race fans. While checking out the prep races, we must get ready for the actual G1 races.

As March is already more than halfway through, I can't be spending too much time analyzing how bad Fukunaga performs in grade races (especially, G1). It's time to think about Takamatsu-no-miya Kinen. I was secretly marking Let's Go Donki since she appeared in February Stakes however, looks like everyone thinks the same and her expected win odds is the second favored as of today...

The End

Caterpillar

3/21  It Snowed...

9:07 p.m. It snowed... in the area where I live. It seems the western half of Tokyo had snow while the eastern half was rain. Tokyo tracks must have been covered with snow by noon.

Thankfully, Nakayama tracks are located southeast of Tokyo so it must have been all right. Also, the snow had turned into rain since late afternoon so it didn't pile up. Phew. Besides, Chukyo tracks where Takamatsuno-miya Kinen is held lies further west in Aichi prefecture, so I shouldn't have to worry about soft trackcondition though that must have meritted Snow Dragon and a few more others.

The End

Caterpillar

3/22  News Arriving

3:37 p.m. While waiting for the barrier draw for Takamatsuno-miya, news of trainings and race schedules involving big names have been arriving.

Chaval Grand seems to be doing a good training aiming for Osaka-hai and coming out fine both in quality and quantity. His two rivals for Osaka-hai Persian Knight and Suave Richard, also seem to be getting better. Meanwhile, Al Ain, Neo Realism, Real Steel and Satono Crown is registered in Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong, which means they are unlikely to appear in Osaka-hai.

The barrier draw for Takamatsuno-miya Kinen is to be awaited.

The End

Caterpillar

3/23  Nothing Much

1:37 p.m. Finally, the awaited barrier draw for Takamatsuno-miya Kinen.

Seiun Kosei in post number1, Rieno Tesoro in 2, Blizzard from Hong Kong in 3, Snow Dragon in 4, Nobo Baccara in 5, Red Falx in 6, Nac Venus in 7, Let's Go Donki in 8, Fine needle in 9, Diana Halo in 10, Dance Director in 11, Nero in 12, reine Minoru in 13, Rhein Meteor in 14, Jeune Ecole in 15, Shining Lei in 16, King Heart in 17, and Rhein Spirit in 18.

Hmmm... nothing much to pick up from the draw.

The End

Caterpillar

3/24  Keep Trying

1:36 p.m. I admit I'm not good for sprint races, but will keep trying to win them.

So here's my call for Takamatsuno-mya Kinen. The key horse is Red Falx. Think it's better not to go against him. On the wheel would be Seiun Kosei, Snow Dragon, Let's Go Donki, Diana Halo, Dance Director, and King Heart.

The End

Caterpillar

3/25  Should Have Realized

9:48 p.m. Takamatsuno-miya Kinen was a disaster. I keyed the wrong horse.

I should have realized that Red Falx would not perform as well as he used to in shortening his distance from Hankyu-hai, as he was getting older and also performs best in 1400 meter races. The horse has already become seven years old while this was a sprint G1, a setting in which the winners need freshness.

Such things considered, I should have keyed Let's Go Donki instead. After all, I was expecting her to perform well when she came in 5th in February Stakes. It's a blunder.

The End

Caterpillar

3/26  Pep Up!

4:55 p.m. Pull yourself together Cat, pep up! We're having Osaka-hai this week!!

Suave Richard is the most favored in the expected win odds for the moment, since horses that won Kinko-sho has been performing well in Osaka-hai for the past couple of years. Al Ain follows in the second with Satono Daimond in the third favored.

Cheval Grand is currently listed in the fourth favored, though there's a chance he might perform well in this 2,000 meter race in a while. He's been running long-distance races for some time so if he could keep up with the pace, he might do well. Though it would be better for him to come in third to fifth place in order to win in the spring Tennno-sho, which I'm secretly aiming for.

The End

Caterpillar

3/27  Affects Other Horses

1:21 p.m. Started checking out information about Osaka-hai.

Looks like Satono Diamond's rider has been changed from Christophe to Tozaki. The reason seems to be... ah, because Christophe is going to Dubai to ride Rey De Oro. That's why I think Japanese horses entering oversea races are quite troubling. It affects other horses. Though I wonder if Satono Diamond will win with Christophe on his back.

The End

Caterpillar

3/28  Could Be An Option

3:46 p.m. I've spotted an interesting horse inthe entry list of Osaka-hai. The horse's name is Triomphe.

Since he had been rough-natured he got castrated while he was still 3 years old. His stable hand mentioned that Triomphe started performing well after that. Three wins in a row in his recent career seem to back this up. He seems to fit the requirements of Osaka-hai and is still young and fresh. Could be an option on the wheel.

The End

Caterpillar

3/29  Still Skeptical

2:13 p.m. It seems Satono Diamond has performed well in his last training before Osaka-hai. News source reports that he reacted smoothly to the go sign of the rider and picked up speed, leaving his training partner behind by 2 lengths. The trainer said that Diamond is gradually returning to his best condition, and the air around him has changed.

However, we cannot simply trust such information blindly. I've seen horses that didn't recover to their prime after challenging oversea races (especially, Deep Impact descendants) so am still skeptical about how well Satono Diamond can perform in Osaka-hai.

The End

Caterpillar

3/30  That's Not The Problem

2:10 p.m. And the barrier draw has been announced!

Mikki Swallow in post number 1, Satono Diamond in 2, Ymakatsu Ace in 3, Chaval Grand in 4, Persian Knight in 5, Smart Layer in 6, Gold Actor in 7, Al Ain in 8, Triomphe in 9, Satono Noblesse in 10, Win Bright in 11, Yamakatsu Raiden in 12, Masahaya Dream in 13, Danburite in 14, Suave Richard in 15, and Maitres d'Art in 16.

Oooooh, Suave Richard has drawn an outer post! Mirco is probably trying to make the best out of it by going up front, but that's not the actual problem. The horse cuts in toward the inside on clockwise courses!

The End

Caterpillar

3/31  Show Time!

2:31 p.m. Cherry blossoms are in full bloom, my morning meeting has been cancelled, spring has come. Show time!

My key horse for Osaka-hai is Al Ain. The shortening in distance would merit a horse like him that almost always fights to go. On the wheel would be Satono Diamond, Triomphe, Win Bright, Danburite and Suave Richard. Yes, I chickened out though I was not going to include Suave Richard in the morning.

The End

Caterpillar