2018/12
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12/01  Hopefully, Two in a Row

2:23 p.m. Okay, it's Champions' Cup. Hopefully, I'll win two races in a row.

My key is Le Vent Se Leve, not to mention. He's in a different level compared to his rivals. On the wheel would be Ange Desir, Nonkono Yume, Sunrise Soar, Omega Perfume and perhaps Westerlund. I'm not yet decided whether I should but a trifecta keying Le Vent Se Leve on top and Omega on second, or trio keying Le Vent Se Leve. Also not sure about buying Westerlund, but if he ever gets a chance to perform well in a G1, I think it's this time.

The End

Caterpillar

12/02  Good News and Bad News

8:57 p.m. There's good news and bad news.

The good news is that Le Vent Se Leve won as expected with Sunrise Soar and Westerlund in tow.

The bad news is that I'd bought a trifecta with Le Vent Se Leve on top, with Sunrise Soar on second and Westerlund on third...

The End

Caterpillar

12/03  Trio Not Trifecta

3:05 p.m. Congrats to those who believed in my call and bought trio not trifecta. Your judgement was correct and you earned the prize.

A loss is a loss, though there were many things I've learnt from this year's Champions' Cup and my loss will not go in vain. If what I'm thinking is true, I will be able to win more trifectas in the future. Will keep working to prove it.

The End

Caterpillar

12/04  Tempting

3:10 p.m. Have taken a peek at the entry form for this week's Hanshin Juvenile Fillies, but there were 23 horses entered at this point and my motivation has shrunk. Will have to wait for a couple more days before JRA decides which horse runs and which horse doesn't.

Meanwhile, I satisfied my interest by looking at members entered in Capella Stakes, a G3 dirt sprint race held on the same Sunday as Juvenile Fillies. The most favored has never won in this race, ever since the race was founded in 2008. Tempting.

The End

Caterpillar

12/05  Lia Fail Retiring

6:38 p.m. I've been verifying and re-verifying my method to make sure it works. And in the process, I've spotted a small article in Sunday's racing form about Lia Fail retiring.

Ah, Lia Fail... The name reminds me of how he defeated Real Steel in Kobe Shinbun-hai. I thought he was a real tough horse and keyed him in the following Kikka-sho, only to lose because I hadn't bought Kitasan Black. The next spring he swung me around until I finally realized I overestimated him... Bitter memories but still I wish the best for his second life.

The End

Caterpillar

12/06  Yutaka Charged Penalty

4:40 p.m. Yutaka has been charged penalty. In the 4th race at Happy Valley tracks in Hong Kong, his horse Lucky Lucky has interrupted Mister Right approximately 350 meters before the finish line, and Yutaka has been charged penalty of suspension by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Adjudication Committee from 26th to 29th, December. Following the decision, JRA has announced to charge the same penalty on Yutaka.

Yutaka is now cornered to a tight spot where his consecutive annual G1 win record migth come to a stop, while remaining chances are getting less. Well, at least he could ride Hanshin JF, Asahi-hai and Arima Kinen. That means the recently announced matching with Oju stays unchanged.

The End

Caterpillar

12/07  Barrier for JF

2:28 p.m. The barriers for Hanshin Juvenile Fillies has been announced.

Belles Soeurs in post number 1, Jodie in 2, Pourville in 3, Schon Glanz in 4, Meisho Shobu in 5, Star Quartz in 6, Win Zenobia in 7, Love Me Fine in 8, Crono Genesis in 9, Tanino Mission in 10, Beach Samba in 11, Red Anemos in 12, Danon Fantasy in 13, Savoir Aimer in 14, Rosen Krieger in 15, Glacier in 16, Tolochenaz in 17, and Meisho Keimei in 18.

I wish Schon Glanz and Beach Samba's post were reversed... Danon Fantasy has the advantage concerning this draw.

The End

Caterpillar

12/08  I Will Manage

2:34 p.m. I haven't been good at calling mile races for as long as I can remember, and as usual I had trouble cutting into Hanshin JF. But I've had a breakthrough lately so think I can manage this year.

I would key Danon Fantasy on first, Beach Samba on 2nd and on a wheel of Crono Genesis, Savoir Aimer, Schon Glantz, and Red Anemos either on trifecta or trio. For trifectas, I'd buy another wheel keying Danon Fantasy and Beach Samaba on first and third respectively, just in case. We all learn from mistakes, you see.

Haven't had enough time to call the more tempting Capella Stakes since I'd made a careless mistake in my procedures, though currently I'm down to Kopano Kicking (not key), Tateyama, Hat Love, Win Mut, King's Guard and Kitasan Mikaduki. Will have to doubl-check it though.

The End

Caterpillar

12/09  Learning From Mistakes..

6:54 p.m. Those of you who bought trio including Cow, congratulations for winning Hanshin JF!

As for me, I have woke up too late way past noon and being in a mad rush of washing my clothes and two weeks worth of cleaning, I forgot to buy the trifecta keying Danon Fantasy and Beach Samba on first and third... Who said anything about learning from mistakes?

The End

Caterpillar

12/10  New Secret Method

3:19 p.m. Thanks to my new secret method, I've been calling the races right three weeks in a row now. Though I haven't been winning myself as I make tiny misses when I actually buy betting tickets...

This week it's Asahi-hai. The setting will be the same as this week so it shouldn't be a problem. Besides, I've learned yesterday that there was this one horse that Danon Fantasy, Hanshin JF winner couldn't beat that is entered in Asahi-hai. Tee-hee, that sounds promising!

But then it transpired just now that the horse was a fillie...omg.

The End

Caterpillar

12/11  Suave Richard Scratched Off

3:44 p.m. While stories of Gran Alegria or Ojuchousan had been told, Suave Richard has secretly scratched off from Arima Kinen.

Not that it matters much but now the interest on winning would be more concentrated on Rey De Oro, dropping down his odds even more than expected. One thing that might make Arima Kinen a bit more interesting though, is that Mozu Katchan seems to be entered in the race, with Mirco Demuro as the rider.

The End

Caterpillar

12/12  First Fillie Champion

2:27 p.m. In the meantime, Gran Alegria is gathering attention whether she would become the first champion to win Asahi-hai as a fillie, in 38 years.

But it might not go that easily with rivals like Admire Mars or Fantasist. Especially Fantasist, since Yutaka is probably eager to win. Asahi-hai is the only G1 he hasn't won in his career. That is, excluding the newly established Hopeful Stakes.

The End

Caterpillar

12/13  Only 15 Entries

2:50 p.m. While we're waiting for the barrier draw for Asahi-hai tomorrow, I realized that the number of entry has decreased to 15 from over 20. What, is everyone so scared of Gran Alegria? Nonsense. How can one get a chance to win if not even in the race?

I've also realized a small article reporting the retirement of T M Jinsoku. Though I'm being a bit sentimental, I'm sure to remember him every year before Champions' Cup.

The End

Caterpillar

12/14  More Concerning

2:36 p.m. All right folks, so here's the draw.

Kurino Gaudi in post number 1, Gran Alegria in 2, Aster Pegasus in 3, De Gaulle in 4, Meiner Surpass in 5, Admire Mars in 6, Salt Ibuki in 7, Deep Diver in 8, It's Cool in 9, Girasol in 10, Cadence Call in 11, Kopano Martin in 12, Nihonpiro Henson in 13, Fantasist in 14 and Emeral Fight in 15.

Not much pros and cons for the draw. I'm more concerned about the weather as it might affect the track condition that would definitely affect the result. Rain is expected in the later time of Sunday. The question is when it will start raining and how much.

The End

Caterpillar

12/15  Getting to the Point

2:00 p.m. Don't have much time so will get straight to the point.

My key is Fantasist. Think he's the safest choice considering the top 3. Putting him on the 2nd place, will buy a wheel of Gran Alegria, Admire Mars and Cadence Call on first with Aster Pegusus on 3rd. Another wheel would be Gran Alegria, Admire Mars and Cadance Call on 1st, the same three plus Aster Pegusus on 2nd and Fantasit on 3rd. Am also planning to buy exacta with Fantasist on 1st and Gran Alegria, Admire Mars and Cadance Call on 2nd, just to be on the safe side.

Don't think it's going to be a wild race but must keep checking the weather. Might change a bit depending on the track conditon, though basically I think the race will end up with these top 5 horses.

The End

Caterpillar

12/16  Okay, Next!

7:27 p.m. How stupid of me! The race setting was the same as last week but somehow I assumed it'd be a hi-lap race! If I was calm enough to realize the lap rarrely becomes tough on Hanshin mile, I wouldn't have let the horses in inner posts go without checking! Darn!

Okay, next!

The End

Caterpillar

12/17  Arima Kinen Entries Increase

3:44 p.m. Of course I want to finish up my review for Asahi-hai in a flash and move on to Arima Kinen. Well I just couldn't control myself to take a peek of the entry form and wa-la! Number of horses have magically increased since last week!

There were three new names on the list, Platinum Bullet, Baby Step and Ridgeman. Ridgeman I can understand though his schedule seems a bit tough, as the horse has won Stayers' Stakes. Platinum Bullet okay, he'd won a G2 before. But Baby Step? It seems he's actually taken "baby steps" since his debut in 2016, that the horse is still in 10 million class which is 2 grades below grade races.

I don't mind more entries, think it's rather better than a 14-horse race. My guess is these new names would be nowhere to be seen on Wednesday when the entry closes, just as nothing happened.

The End

Caterpillar