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9/01  New Week

7:39 p.m. Ah, the lap. If Black Spinel had taken the lead, the lap wouldn't have slackened... Yet, the last 3 furlongs would be fast which meant that the ones up front will sink and be taken over by horses that didn't have leftover damage. I should have noticed.

I didn't have any luck last week, whether it was because I'd accidentally won a sprint race or not I don't know. Anyway, another new week is beginning. Let's hope it will be a better week.

The End

Caterpillar

9/02  Worth One's Attention

3:30 p.m. Curren Bouquetd'or who came in 2nd in Japanese Oaks is entering in Shion Stakes that runs this Saturday. Shion Stakes is a step race for Shuka-sho and although Dierdre is the only winner of this race and Shuka-sho, last year's winner Norm Core has later won Victoria Mile. It's becoming a race worth one's attention.

I'm thinking of calling Centaur Stakes this week, because I thought I might do better than calling Keisei-hai Autumn Handicap which is a Nakayama mile race.

The End

Caterpillar

9/03  Matera Sky

5:15 p.m. Well, speaking of Centaur Stakes, it would be interesting to see how Matera Sky would perform on Hanshin turf.

It's not his first time to run on turf since he came in 9th place in Keioh-hai Nisai Stakes when he was 2 years old. But since then he has been running dirt races, so it's been quite a while. It could be that they are entering Centaur Stakes as a step race, though I can't come up with any dirt grade races in a month or so. JBC sprint, perhaps?

The End

Caterpillar

9/04  Some Things I Realized

3:39 p.m. I've been looking at the past 10 years' results of Centaur Stakes and have come to realize a few things.

One is that tight lap appears every other year. Another thing is that horses fresh back from recess are finishing within 3rd place in tight-lapped races. This is convincing because when the race gets tougher, the more each horse's damage will take effect.

The End

Caterpillar

9/05  The Cold Shoulder

4:27 p.m. The rider of Kiseki in Grand Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has been aanounced as Christophe Soumillon, while Yuga Kawada has been announced to ride Blast Onepiece. That's what I feared might happen...

Well, I haven't forgotten how he rode Orfevre yet and although I personally don't like Blast Onepiece, I'd rather cheer Blast Onepiece for Kawada's sake. He's the one who'd be given the cold shoulder. Whilst getting excited with Bloom and Yutaka why, of course.

The End

Caterpillar

9/06  Affected By The Pace

1:48 p.m. The barriers for Centaur Stakes has been announced. Christophe's Tower Of London drew post number 7 while the Takamatsuno-miya winner Mister Melody drew 12 and Aonbharr drew 11.

It seems Hanshin race tracks will have fair weather this weekend, though this might change according to the course of the typhoon. The results would largely be affected by the pace I reckon, if it becomes average, horses taking positions in the middle with instantaneuos speed will take over. If the pace tightens up, horses in the leading group (and even the leading horse) will have the advantage. And the leading horses in the past several years have all performed well in this race, when they hadn't taken the lead in their previous races. Horses with their previous race being Ibis Summer Dash are exceptions, as I can't figure out their positions.

The End

Caterpillar

9/07  Not Worried

1:24 p.m. So my call for Centaur Stakes. The training squad said they're not worried about horses changing course from dirt to turf as horses are animals that run on grass. Come to think of it, I've never heard any trainer worrying about such cases, while many are concerned about the reversed situation.

Therefore, will key Matera Sky on a wheel of Iberis, Fantasist, Tower Of London, Daimei Princess and Mister Melody. And sorry for the inconvenience, Cow "simply forgot" to upload what I'd dutifully written.

The End

Caterpillar

9/08  Things Were Going Fine

5:32 p.m. It looked like things were going fine until Matera Sky run short of its power... As a matter of fact, I was going to key Iberis at the beginning of last week but I decided against it because I had underestimated Hmanaka, this year's D'erby jockey. I apologize. I've had my last chance to change my key horse on Saturday when I re-realized the most-favored Tower Of London will probably perform well. Though I'd let it pass. Sigh.

Fantasist has done a great job coming back from its big loss in Kita-kyushu Kinen. I was quite dubious about it that he would recover especially in a short distance race however, it seems the horse has finally got back in its original state by taking an agressive position in the race. Think he will do well in short distance races as he surely has the potential to win a grade race. If possibly the owner hadn't given up yet on mid-range distance, he's the type of horse to boldly take the lead. The horse seems to have a lot of fighting spirit, enough he could sell.

The End

Caterpillar

9/09  Step Races Starting

2:17 p.m. Okay, step races for the autumn G1 is starting! This week we'll have Centlight Kinen which is a step race for Kikka-sho and, Rose Stakes as a step for Shuka-sho.

Lion Lion, Levolg, Satono Lux, Run For The Roses, Nishino Daisy are entering Centlight Kinen, while Danon Fantasy, Victoria, Shigeru Pink Dia, Beach Samba are entering Rose Stakes. I wondered what happened to Chrono Genesis and went to check her plan. It seems she is not in a state to enter a step race, as her next race was announced to be Shuka-sho.

The End

Caterpillar

9/10  Melee

1:37 p.m. Since Gran Alegria crew have announced earlier that they would change her course to sprint races, Shuka-sho could become a melee.

Of course, Loves Only You might grab away an easy win fresh after recess, but without Ohka-sho winner the chances seem to be open for all entered horses. Rose Stakes is going to be an important race to see whether Danon Fantasy can perform well in 2,000 meters.

The End

Caterpillar

9/11  Now They Tell Me

16:01 p.m. News reports that Matera Sky is going to rrace in Breeder's Cup Sprint held in Santa Anita Park, U.S. on November 2nd. Which means that Centaur Stakes was just a prep race for the horse. Now they tell me.

Rey de Oro and Mikki Swallow are shifting their gears up in training. The two horses are to enter All Comer coming up after Centlight Kinen, while Saturnalia is preparing for Kobe Shinbun-hai, another Kikka-sho trial. I pretty much like this season when the tension is building up towards the autumn G1 series. The best part of it is that I haven't lost a race yet.

The End

Caterpillar

9/12  Checking On Centlight Kinen

4:11 p.m. Starting to check on the past results of Centlight Kinen.

Looks like it's basically on the favored side unless the most favored is just simply being popular because of its previous performance. I've adopted the scale of JRA's grade race results to decide whether or not to trust the most favored in a race : if the horse has won either the same or a one rank lower grade as the race it's entered, I trust the horse has enough potential to come within 3rd place.

The most favored this year would probabaly be Lion Lion. He's won Aoba-sho a grade 2, so I think he can put my trust on him.

The End

Caterpillar

9/13  Fast Track

1:44 p.m. The barriers for Centlight Kinen which will be run on the 16th is not ye announced, so let's go see the barrier draw for Rose Stakes.

Danon Fantasy drew post number 4 while Victoria drew 8 and Shigeru Pink Dia drew 10. It wouldn't be much of a problem with the outer posts since there are only 12 horses running. The track condition of Hanshin is firm and very fast following last weekend, so skills to perform well on fasst tracks will be a must. Typical sires that perform well on fast tracks are Deep Impact, Kurofune, Harbinger, Daiwa Major, Rulership, Black Tide, Manhattan Cafe, for your information.

The End

Caterpillar

9/14  It's Out

1:35 p.m. It's out. The barrier for Centlight Kinen has been announced so let's take a look. I'll just take a peek for now and call the race tomorrow.

Lion Lion is in post number 8, Levolg in 16 and Nishino Daisy is in 12. Hmm... Lion Lion might not take the lead if Yokoyama Sr. plays it safe; stay put on the 2nd or 3rd position from the top. Nishino Daisy might perform well on fast track (remember, we had a record-breaking race last week) but it won't be easy to control the horse in this large pack especially, when the pace slows down. Levolg seems to have drawn the best post among the top 3 favored, though he will be confronted by rivals a grade or two over.

The End

Caterpillar

9/15  As Expected

5:14 p.m. It was a blunder. I should have called Rose Stakes instead of Centlight Kinen since Danon Fantasy has won as I'd expected, Beach Sanba came in 2nd as expected, and Victoria hung on to 3rd place as expected. I've looked closely on Centlight Kinen, but oh... this is a melee in a lower level and I can't be sure which horse I should key.

Given that plus the unstable weather, I finally made a decision to key Lion Lion. Risky, I admit. However, the horse will probably take its position in the front even if he couldn't take the lead, and that I think is a better decision than keying a trailer on this fast track. On the wheel would be Zadar, Ocea Great, Nishino Daisy, and Run For The Roses.

The End

Caterpillar

9/16  Just Below

4:35 p.m. Lately, I've been in to picking up some yakitori at a tiny yakitori shop near where I live. Have found it very convenient to satisfy my not-so-demanding appetite and also charge enough iron before running. Not only do they taste much better than the ones sold in supermarkets, and the shop I buy provides them in paper bags the old-fashioned way. I like that because I don't have to worry about increasing plastic wastes.

Have had my yakitori, ready to win Centlight Kinen. Aw... close. Satono Lux was just below Levolg on my list! But now I have an idea on how to deal with All Comer coming up this weekend. And there's gonna be big names running including my Win Bright.

The End

Caterpillar

9/17  Don't Mind The Result

3:47 p.m. While I was bickering about Centlight Kinen, Foi Prize has been run in France, a step race for the Arc.

Kiseki has taken the lead to finish in 3rd place (although there were only 4 horses running). It wasn't an outstanding win like many of his predecessors, but I don't mind the result as it was his first race since Takaraduka Kinen in June. It would have been better to enter a shorter distance race for a step (instead of Foi Prize), though if it rains on the day of the Arc and the track becomes soft, that should work in favor of Kiseki.

The End

Caterpillar

9/18  Competitive Race

3:32 p.m. On the same day as All Comer, there will be a competitive race run on Hanshin turf though this one's a step for Kikka-sho, the last of the triple crowns.

Saturnalia will run as well as Velox. So that's why Christophe wasn't riding Rey de Oro, he couldn't ride two horses at the same time while they are more than 500km apart. However, is it too much thinking that it seems like Christophe has prioritized Saturnalia?. Though that doesn't necessarily mean that the horse would win.

The End

Caterpillar

9/19  Rey de Oro's Last Season

2:45 p.m. Because JT will stop selling echo, my favorite brand of cigarette and started selling a new version in short cigar instead, I've timidly taken the chance to try one. Speaking from the result, it didn't disappoint me, rather the contrary. Echo was sort of edgy in its flavor, but the reborn echo (short cigar) tasted more mild in generall with the flavor enriched with the price unchanged. Very much satisfied.

In the horse race world, Sankei Sports has reported that this season would become the last for Rey de Oro. Assuming from what trainer Fujisawa said, Rey de Oro's retirement seems to have been decided earlier which is not all that surprising after his performances in Dubai Sheema Classic and Takara-duka Kinen.

The End

Caterpillar