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

6/01  Someone Wants

2:37 p.m. Thank god it's Friday and the barrier draw for Yasuda Kinen has been announced.

Suave Richard in post number 1, Satono Ares in 2, Dashing Blaze in 3, Aerolithe in 4, Persian Knight in 5, Reine Minoru in 6, Western Express from Hong Kong in 7, Cambell Junior in 8, Red Falx in 9, Mozu Ascot in 10, Real Steel in 11, He's In Love 12, Black Moon in 13, Lys Gracieux in 14, Sungrazer in 15, and Win Gagnant in 16.

Again, someone wants Suave Richard to win...

The End

Caterpillar

6/02  Maybe You Shouldn't Trust

3:39 p.m. Okay, here's my call for Yasuda Kinen which maybe you shouldn't trust.

The key horse I'm swaying, between Aerolithe and Real Steel but leaning towards Aerolithe since she's drawn a good post and she's got all the advantages she needs except for a soft track condition. Added to this, I caught on a piece of information before Victoria Mile that her crew was in fact aiming for Yasuda Kinen, not Victoria Mile. Just looking at the situation, it resembles the time when she lost in Ohka-sho and then performed a blast in NHK Mile Cup. If I decided her as my key, Real Steel will be put on the wheel. If not, vice versa.

Other horses on my wheel would be, Suave Richard (though I'm on the down side for him), Mozu Ascot (since I can't make heads nor tails of his murderous racing schedule), Black Moon, Lys Gracieux (as third place just in case). Sungrazer will hopefully stay in fourth place.

The End

Caterpillar

6/03  If

8:45 p.m. So, where the hell was Real Steel?

Choosing Aerolithe as key horse was right. Keeping Mozu Ascot on the wheel was also right. But what was Real Steel doing? Didn't think Suave Richard would do that well, though. If Richard had blown it like I'd expected, Sungrazer would have been in fourth place as I'd predicted.

The End

Caterpillar

6/04  Panic-stricken

2:59 p.m. As I got to my workplace, Cow has told me that I'd written "Other horses on my wheel would be, Suave Richard (though I'm on the down side for him), " Saturday. I'd completely forgotten about that and have slashed out Suave Richard yesterday, without any hesitation whatsoever... oh, god.

Moreover, I'd also completely forgotten about Win Gagnant in post number 16. That's why I'd thought it would be easy for Aerolithe to take the lead. I realised my mistake on the way to the off-track betting Sunday, and fell in a slight panic. Since Win Gagnant who wanted to take the lead was in the outer post while Aeroithe who also wanted to go up front was in the inner barrier, the lap could get fast, which means the horses from the back would have advantage if they were in outer posts. Instantly, I tried to think what might happen if the lap slackens, but that's when the panic kicked in and my brain stopped functioning. As a result, I never reached the conclusion of "if the lap slackened, it would be easier for the horses starting from inner barriers to come dashing up".

The End

Caterpillar

6/05  Amazing, Really

2:41 p.m. Anyway, Real Steel has been officially proven now that he is a spoiled kid. Just because he'd won Dubai Turf and that's already more than two years ago, his racing schedule has been too relaxed for the past two years. He's run merely three races in a year.

Look at Mozu Ascot. He's two years younger than Real Steel and has already been in four races this season, with the last of it being Yasuda Kinen which he won without an interval from the previous week. Whereas Real Steel has had plenty of time to rest and prepare after he came back from Dubai at the end of March, and he loses miserably in what? Second from the last place, huh? Amazing, really.

The End

Caterpillar

6/06  As Expected

1:21 p.m. We've been talking after Yasuda Kinen that Suave Richard probably would not enter Takaraduka Kinen, as he is said to be under the weather during hot season. It's been announced officially today, that Suave Richard is not entering Takaraduka Kinen. As expected. Suave Richard will be trained aiming to win Japan Cup this fall.

Meanwhile, Rainbow Line who was discovered to have been injured after the spring Tennno-sho, was announced to retire because there was little hope in coming back. Incidentally, Real Steel is not either injured or have won a domestic G1 race and he is not entering Takaraduka. As expected.

The End

Caterpillar

6/07  Epsom Cup G3

2:27 p.m. The week after Yasuda Kinen is annually the time for Epsom Cup G3. The sky is clear today despite the rainy season beginning in Kanto yesterday, rainshower is expected on Sunday according to the weekly forecast. The track might become soft.

Speaking of Epsom Cup reminds me of Mr. N-jima bickering about Justaway. Once the top ranker in Longines' World Race Horse Ranking, Justaway lost in second place by a nose against Clarent when he was not yet mature, to blow Mr. N-jima's (and mine, too) betting tickets into pieces. Since then, I can't tell you how many times I've been forced to hear that episode, almost every time having to replay the race on y iPad.

The End

Caterpillar

6/08 "Magic Man" Moreira

2:32 p.m. Big news has come in.

João Moreira, the leading jockey of Hong Kong three years in a row, has announced to obtain JRA jockey license which qualifying examination will be held this September. If he passes, he will be riding in Japan throughout the year. It is reported that Moreira didn't renew his jockey's license in Hong Kong. Current top jockies in Japan must be aware that they will be put at a disadvantage, while jockies who cannot make up to the top twenty in the leading jockey list might even have to rethink their career.

"Magic Man" Moreira riding throughout the year in Japan is that serious a matter.

The End

Caterpillar

6/09 "Keep Up the Feeling

2:54 p.m. There is no G1 race this weekend, but will call Epsom Cup to keep up the feeling.

My key horse is Sable Or. Was undecided between Gruyeres, but thought Sable Or might be better considering the track condition. Rain is expected from around noon tomorrow, which means the track condition can be soft depending on how heavy the rain falls. On the wheel would be Tosen Matakoiya, Gruyeres, Shiny Prince and Meiner Milano. Wonder how that turns out.

The End

Caterpillar

6/10 "We Deserve

4:25 p.m. I would personally like to ask the crew of Meiner Milano what that race was. It looked as though they had no intention of winning. We deserve an explanation as we are paying the money, humph.

Apart from that, I decided wrong again. It was Gruyeres not Sable Or. Hakusan Rudolph I might have included on my wheel if I had known the track was "yielding" at the time I called the race yesterday. The horse has power and soft or muddy track condition surely advantages him.

The End

Caterpillar

6/11 "Welcome

4:16 p.m. As a matter of fact, I caught a glimpse on the TV screen of Satono Arthur starting to warm up before the race. I realized the horse making movements like pawing the turf before he went into canter, and thought that the horse was feeling uneasy. But then, Saton Arthur wins the race.

I took it for granted that Satono Arthur didn't like soft track because of the horse's action, though actually it was the contrary. Okay, so that was a gesture of "welcome" I guess. No wonder I didn't win.

The End

Caterpillar

6/12 "Persona Goal

2:26 p.m. Until the last week of this month when the Takaraduka Kinen will be held, grade races will be run on either Hanshin, Tokyo or Hakdate tracks or on all three.

This week it's going to be Unicorn Stakes on Tokyo dirt 1600m and Hakodate Sprint Stakes on Hakodate turf 1200m. I haven't decided which race to call yet, but maybe Unicorn Stakes? It's a G3 for three-year-olds and a mile race on Tokyo tracks. Since my personal goal this year is to learn how to win Tokyo 1600m races.

The End

Caterpillar

6/13 "DNT

1:23 p.m. It's Wednesday so some horses entering this weekend's race should be having their last training today. Most stables run the last trainings before the race on either Wednesday or Thursday usually, and the entry for the weekend races will be closed by Thursday. Thus, the barrier draw for the races will be announced after that mostly on Fridays, unless it's a special race like the classical races which only three-year-olds can enter.

Not to mention, the competitors for Unicorn Stakes and Hakodate Sprint Stakes this weekend, training news of horses entering Takaraduka Kinen is also coming in. However, I personally do not trust what goes out in the media since they go through filters of unspoken rules and biases. I'm counting on our training squad as my information source to check on each horse's condition.

The End

Caterpillar

6/14 "Full Barriers

3:59 p.m. Although Takaraduka Kinen is still more than a week ahead, the expected win odds are already announced. According to the odds, the most favored as of now is Satono Diamond despite his loss in Osaka-hai, followed by Danburite and Kiseki. Racing fans seem to know well that younger horses have the advantage in this race.

Considering the number of horses entered, it seems all the horses can run unless something goes wrong. Well, at least I'd like to see the race with barriers full this year, since the barriers are seldom filled lately. Not to mention the Unicorn Stakes and Hakodate Sprint. I want all races run with full barriers.

The End

Caterpillar

6/15 "Ready To Win

2:27 p.m. All right, so on Friday afternoon, the barrier draw for the weekend races have been announced.

I brief through the Unicorn Stakes and realize that the most favored is Le Vent Se Leve who's won the G1 for 2-year-olds in Kawasaki (Kawasaki is a local track different from JRA) las year-end. No wonder he's favored. Hmm... looks like Mirco's got another good horse on his list. The horse has drawn a good post, run his prep race, and is ready to win.

The End

Caterpillar

6/16 "Bright Future

2:49 p.m. Here's my call for Unicorn Stakes. The key is Le Vent Se Leve. He's still the most favored in win odds, but that can't be helped.

On the wheel would be Great Time (think this horse might perform better than Harvest Moon), Hosho Now, Grimm, Koma Bisho, and Ryono Tesoro. The horses that finish in top three in this race might have a bright future ahead, just like Sound True, Nonkono Yume or Gold Dream. Let's see what happens.

The End

Caterpillar

6/17 "To The G1

4:37 p.m. Ah, that was close. Engrosser has a short carrier in dirt races which means his mental is fresh. Besides, his father is that Transcend who'd won February Stakes. There was no reason to think he'd be bad at dirt races. I just wasn't so sure because his previous race had been 1400 meters and his rider was Katsuharu. Usually, horses that extend their distance from 1400 meters to 1600 meters don't perform very well, unless the horse is good at 1600 meters.

Le Vent Se Leve performed even better than I'd imagined. Mirco rode him with big confidence. The horse had a slow start, but Mirco led him sweeping up the outside without giving the horse a break. The lap didn't slack so that might have meade this possible, though he had enough strength left to leave the others behind on the homestretch by 3 and a half lengths. This horse would make it to the G1.

The End

Caterpillar

6/18 "Must Start

3:47 p.m. And before I know it, it's Takaradeka Kinen week.

Takaraduka Kinen is the early summer grand prix race as opposed to the winter Arima Kinen at year-end. As they say all is well that ends well, it's a race I long to win every season as well as Arima Kinen. Must start preparing.

The End

Caterpillar