2020/2
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020/ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2/01  Be Gentle

7:24 p.m. I'm drained. Viral disease is recurring over and over and I'm not getting any better. My feverish head and the terrible coughs won't let me focus on anything, so please don't blame me if I'm way off the bull's eye. Be gentle on me, please.

Will be agressive and key Wonder Lider though I know Kopano Kicking would probably do well. On the wheel would be Mikki Wild, Kopano Kicking, Wide Pharaoh, and either Kafuji Take or Yoshio for 3rd place.

The End

Caterpillar

2/02  Go Against Time

5:05 p.m. Where the hell was Wonder Lider? Way too behind to even reach 3rd place and the rider was bold enough to take the horse on the outside in the last stretch. No wonder he sank in 8th place, though the horse has shown good instantaneous speed. I hate to see a good horse ridden badly.

Still, I'm feeling much better than a week ago. A good, long sleep (although fitful as usual) has done the trick and I'm feeling recovery for the first time in two weeks. Besides, Kopano Kicking has lost in 2nd place just as I'd predicted. He's a great horse but no horse can go against time, you see.

If my recovery stays on its course, I think I can start thinking properly to review Negishi Stakes and also check Sikroad Stakes tomorrow. Relieved.

The End

Caterpillar

2/03  More Than Happy

4:14 p.m. Thanks for pushing us up to number one in the ranking again folks! Perhaps there were some of you who won exactas by anchoring Kopano Kicking in 2nd place. If so, I'd be more than happy.

It looked like Negishi Stakes was run in quite a tight lap however, when I look at the officially announced clock the lap was actually average, so it wasn't easy for horses taking their positions in the back. That's why Smart Avalon was 3rd not 2nd, although the 8-year-old has brought out the best lap in the last 3 furlongs.

My Wonder Lider was in almost the same position as Avalon but along the rail. While Smart Avalon swung around the outside on tha last corner to charge up the middle of the homestretch, Wonder Lider stuck to the in at the corner seeking a chance in the course Avalon had made. But Wonder Lider lagged at the corner-work and that became a critical gap.

The End

Caterpillar

2/04  Sad Truth

4:52 p.m. Dr. Kopa, the owner of Kopano Kicking has announced today, that Kopano Kicking is not entering February Stakes this year. It seems trainer Murayama and Oisin Murphy had talked some sense into the old man mentioning (assumingly over and over) the distance over 1400m is too long for the horse. The owner reveals a plan to challenge world sprint with Kopano Kicking. But that comes after 2020 is over when the horse turns 6 years old, as this year he wants to win JBC Sprint at Ohi with Nanako Fujita as the rider.

It's not unusual for a race horse to degrade their performances as they grow older. The tendency is more obvious in sprint horses, that's what I've observed in the past decade of my race calling career. And this is why I mentioned "Kopano Kicking will probably perfrom well" in my Negishi Stakes call, and "Kopano Kicking has lost in 2nd place just as I'd predicted. He's a great horse but no horse can go against time, you see," in my Sunday review of the race. I actually meant KopanoKicking will probably perform well but can't win because he will degrade his performance from last year.

I will say here once again to avoid misunderstandings, but Kopano Kicking is a great horse, a good sprinter. However, horses age as we do and their prime is not as long as we think. It's sad truth that horses can't choose their owners just like children can't choose their parents.

The End

Caterpillar

2/05  More Interested

2:29 p.m. I've been to check out the entry members for this week's Tokyo Shinbun-hai, but the names on the list turned out to be lukewarm without any of them standing out, at least at first sight. Satono Arthur maybe, depending on the barrier draws and other conditions.

Unsatisfied, I also went to look at Shinzan Kinen and learned that Satono Gold will be running. I don't think he's the type to perform well on Kyoto mile, though. In the end, I decided that I might be more interested in the performance of ol' Sound True racing tonight at Ohi for Kinpai Kyoso. 2600m is possibly too long for this old buddy, but we'll wait and see. Hey, there's my Centurion, too. In the meantime, I could also review Silkroad Stakes.

The End

Caterpillar

2/06  Already History

2:24 p.m. The result of Kinpai Kyoso at Ohi tracks was already history by the time we uploaded yesterday's "Murmur." Sorry about that.

Though I was quite impressed that ol' Sound True 10 years old, drew away by 8 lengths. Yes, he was the defending champion, but still it's a spectacle to see a 10-year-old beat all the others. Mickaelle Michel has ridden Centurion agressively to sink in 11th place, but that couldn't be helped I guess, as she doesn't know how to get around on Ohi tracks. I'm sure there's a lot to learn.

I've also checked out the results of Silkroad Stakes as I'd mentioned earlier, and decided that it will become an advantage to take horses out on the outside of the last stretch on current Kyoto turf. Mozu Superflare seemed to be having things her way as well as Seiun Kosei, but they couldn't hang in. That together with the potentials of the top 3 horses, suggests the outside advantage in ths last stretch.

The End

Caterpillar

2/07  Coughing Nights Away

1:45 p.m. While I've been coughing my nights away unable to lie down and sleep, the barriers for this weekend's races have been announced.

For Tokyo Shinbun-hai, Red Veyron drew post number 9 while Vin de Garde and Primo Scene drew 2 and 1, respectively. Not sure if this Red Veyron could perform well or not. Rather wish the 4-year-olds, Vin de Garde, Shadow Diva and Kurino Gaudi to show some gumption. Cadence Call I think, needs a bit pepped up.

As for Kisaragi-sho, Al Jannah drew post number 8, Chiberti drew 4 and Gran Rey, 5. I think I'll go for Gran Rey if our training squad gives me a &quo;go."

The End

Caterpillar

2/08  Doesn't Sound Good

3:41 p.m. Okay, it's the happy race calling time. Cough, cough.

Training squad doesn't sound good about Gran Rey but I'll key him anyway. Whether he dows well or not is fifty-fifty, so I'm betting on the win side. On the wheel would be Trouville, Gjiberti, and Satono Gold. Can't count on Satono Gold as he seems to resemble his father Gold Ship more than Black Hole, but I believe the horse has got high potential.

Haven't really looked into Tokyo Shinbun-hai as it didn't interest me much though if I were to bet, I'd key Vin de Garde on a wheel of Morphe Orfe, Leyenda, Cadence Call, Red Veyron, and Keiai Nautique. Have a good weekend everyone, I'll focus on recovering.

The End

Caterpillar

2/09  Feel Sorry and Guilty

5:01 p.m. Oh god, I'm way off the mark... what have I been looking at?

I was blind enough to let it slip that Kisaragi-sho was a 1800m race in the first place, then I'd totally forgot that horses from lower category could perform well if the pace turned out to be slow, which I'd guessed right as the number of competitors were small and there weren't any horse that wanted to pull the race in a fast lap. How stupid could I have been?

If I'd added the fact that we didn't have rain througout the week so the track would be firm and fast, there weren't any choices but to go for Deep Impact descendants as well as Symboli Chris S descendants. It wasn't so hard to see Orfevere or Gold Ship descendants wouldn't stand a chance in such a condition though I missed it completely. It only points out that I'm not focused... Feel so sorry and guilty to those who came to see my call.

The End

Caterpillar

2/10  My Condition Before Others

4:34 p.m. We've entered the 2nd week of February meaning, February Stakes is merely 2 more weeks ahead. And when February Stakes is over, step races for the spring classics will begin and we'd be facing Ohka-sho in a month.

It's still cold today though the temperature seems higher than it usually is around this time of year, while later this week it's predicted to go up as high as 17 or 18 degrees during daytime. The forecast says the cherry blossoms will start blooming around March 21st in Tokyo. Ha! The cherry blossoms would all be gone by the time Ohka-sho runs.

I'd better do something about my own condition before I start thinking of others like track, horses, or barriers. Thankfully, the antiallergic drug my doctor had prescribed me has helped stop my unstoppable coughs that now they come in single shots instead of endless bursts.

The End

Caterpillar

2/11  Day-off

5:15 p.m. Thank god it's a holiday today. Hopefully, I can make use of this day-off to recover.

Should also make use of some free time to look into Kyoto Kinen a bit. So I've done some analysis on the past 10 years of results, then went to check out this year's competitors. Since there aren't many, it's likely for the probably most-favored Curren Bouquet d'Or to come within 3rd place. Chrono Genesis has higher potential, but can't rely so much on her as it seems to be her prep race. Not many names strike me as prospective among the seniors, though Dreadnoughtus might have a chance back in Kyoto. The horse performs well on Kyoto tracks.

The End

Caterpillar

2/12  Vicious Cycle

4:31 p.m. Throat has swollen up again and am back at the start. I wonder until when I have to suffer though it probably won't last forever.

Meanwhile, Mirco Demurro is regaining his chances in the horse race world. There's been a couple of accidents causing serious injuries in jockies including Tozaki, Miura or Hamanaka, but I assume that isn't the only reason requests are coming back to Mirco again. The problem is that we are lacking skilled jockies in the younger generations.

Riding requests for good horses tend to concentrate on top jockies like Lemaire, Kawada, or Take resulting in less riding chances for younger jockies. Though that didn't happen today, and I think things are more serious that younger jockies like (Takuya) Ohno, (Ryouta) Samejima or (Akihide) Tsumura are not performing as well as they should. Thus, riding requests for good horses gather more to top jockies creating a vicious cycle. Since Miho's top-2 jockies Tozaki and Miura is away from turf now due to injuries as well as Ritto's Hamanaka, it seems natural riding offers for Mirco Demurro is increasing. And so, things get back to the start and goes around like nothing happened, just like my viral cold.

The End

Caterpillar

2/13  Filip Minarik

4:36 p.m. Oh yes, there was another jockey belonging to Miho training center who's been met with an accident Masami Matsuoka, the main rider for my Win Bright. Unfortunately, he'd been diagnosed with fracture of femur and needs 6 months to recover. The accident happened last Saturday, and I've been worrying who was going to ride Win Bright instead.

It seems the offer has been made to German jockey Filip Minarik for Nakayama Kinen 2 weeks ahead. He's won the leading jockey in Germany and I'm sure he doesn't need anyone's advice sepecially, not mine. But if I may, I'd like to let him know he's got chances to win with this horse. The horse has got good speed and a lot of fighting spirit, so to control him well Filip, you need to make him run at an averagely tight pace not slow. Do not stay behind to get the horse into an instantaneous speed contest. Win Bright concentrates best in an averagely tight lap (11.8-12.3 per 2 furlongs), also on either soft or firm and fast track. If you treat my Win Bright well to a win Filip, I'll treat you to a karaoke.

The End

Caterpillar

2/14  Come-back Race

1:44 p.m. The come-back race for Epoca d'Oro finally seems to be decided. It has been officially announced that 2018 Satsuki-sho winner Epoca d'Oro is aiming Kinko-sho held on March 15th at Chukyo for his come-back race, after the long blank since Osaka-hai last year. Seeing Lucky Lilac win Queen Elizabeth Cup last fall, I haven't given up hope for Epoca d'Oro yet. The horse has got potential, it's up to us human to let it bloom again or not.

In the meantime, the barriers for this weekend's races has also been announced. Curren Bouquet d'Or drew post number 1 while Chrono Genesis drew 7 and Stay Foolish, 5. Dreadnoughtus seems to be the 6th favored in win odds currently, I hope it stays the same unitl Sunday. As for Kyodo Tsushin-hai, My Rhapsody drew post number 8, Figlio Allegro 7, and Darlington Hall 6.

The End

Caterpillar

2/15  Straight to the Point

6:23 p.m. Sorry to keep you all waiting, I had to attend my client.

Getting straight to the point, I will key Chrono Genesis for Kyoto Kinen on a wheel of Curren Bouquet d'Or, Stay Foolish and Dreadnoughtus, period. Kyoto is expected to have rain tomorrow, so perhaps there might be a chance for horses like America's Cup or Noble Mars if they go up front. I'm skeptical about Ganko though conditions might advantage him.

Haven't had the time nor energy to look into Kyodo Tsuhin-hai. Think I'll just watch the race on TV.

The End

Caterpillar

2/16  Very Disappointing

5:53 p.m. I won, yes, I did.

I knew the payout would be small if both Chrono Genesis and Curren Bouquet d'Or finished within 3rd place. And even though I did include Stay Foolish (the 3rd favored) in my wheel, 400 yen for the payout for trio wasn't what I'd expected. I mean, I'm not buying betting tickets for Ohi races, you know? Disappointing, very disapponting.

Dreadnoughtus, my hope had sunk in 8th place but that couldn't be helped considering the track condition. He performs better on firm, fast tracks so I was hoping the turf would stop at soft. It seemed like the turf was closer to yielding as a matter of fact, so I don't blame Drreadnoghtus for his loss today. Would rather like to say a word or two to Noble Mars for not going up front as ususal. He might have had a chance to beat Stay Foolish if he had.

The End

Caterpillar

2/17  The Reason is Clear

3:24 p.m. It wasn't just me. Yutaka must also have been disppointed with My Rhapsody losing in 4th place in Kyodo Tsushin-hai.

Well, the reason is clear, at least to me. My Rhapsody was simply way too behind in a slow pace race to win. Perhaps Yutaka thought that the horse had outstanding instantaneous speed from the performance of his previous race, but Heart's Cry descendants generally perform well in races run in a tight lap, when it's a stamina-consuming situation. Therefore, Heart's Cry descendants do better when the last 3 furlongs take around 35 seconds. The soft track yesterday must have advantaged the horse in the sense stamina was necessary otherwise, he could have lost bigger.

In a slow-paced race, it would become a huge disadvantage if you take the position in the back, as the horse needs to bring out more than the best of its speed in order to take over the others. Remember Seiun Sky and Special Week. Seiun Sky took the lead in Kikka-sho to wrap up the last 3 furlongs in 35.1 seconds, while Special Week ran the last 3 furlongs 1 second faster in 34.1 and not only wasn't he able to take over Seiun Sky, but finished more than 3 lengths behind. The race was run in average pace not slow, but I thought it was a good example.

The End

Caterpillar

2/18  Blinded

5:16 p.m. Annnd we're having the first G1 of this year already, February Stakes. Though top horses like Chrysoberyl or Gold Dream are not running as they are going to Saudi Arabia blinded by the huge purse.

So it would be a match race between Inti and Mozu Ascot, I think. We might be having another low payout depending on which horse comes in 3rd. Anyway, should start reviewing my notes from last year. However, I wouldn't have to be troubled by Gold Dream this year.

The End

Caterpillar

2/19  My Notes

4:55 p.m. So here I am reviewing my notes on February Stakes.

Negishi Stakes winners seem to do well in February Stakes only when they've already performed well on Tokyo mile. My notes just say "Tokyo mile" so I don't know what to make of Yasuda Kinen champion Mozu Ascot, though I think he meets what's required. As for horses with their previous race being Tokyo Dai-shoten, my notes say "Tokyo Dai-shoten runner-ups and 3rd place winners are likely to perform as well in February, in case Tokyo Dai-shoten is their previous race. For horses that have run another step race after Dai-shoten, it would be better to finish in 2nd or 3rd place in the step race in order to perform well in February Stakes." Well, that applys to both Nonkono Yume and Mogiana Flavor.

Another important factor from my notes is the barrier, but that will have to wait until it's announced.

The End

Caterpillar

2/20  3 More Days

2:44 p.m. 3 more days to February Stakes and Mozu Ascot is being favored.

There's nos surprise after having been shown his high performance in Negishi Stakes. And I think he'd probably do well unless he screws up his start. The horse is a bad starter. In other words, Mozu Ascot has a risk of a blunder, if/when he lags behind at the start.

Inti would be a rival to beat for Mozu. It depends on which barrier Inti would draw, but Yutaka is likely to take the lead or go up front at least, in order to drop the pace to an avrage and control the race. Such things considered, it will become critical if/when Mozu Ascot misses his start.

The End

Caterpillar

2/21  Inti Takes the Lead

1:39 p.m. All right. The barrier draw for February Stakes has been announced, so let's take a look.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Bulldog Boss
2Arctos
3Wide Pharaoh
4Time Flyer
5Inti
6Mikki Wild
7Vengeance
8King's Guard
9Sunrise Nova
10Nonkono Yume
11Mogiana Flavor
12Mozu Ascot
13Derma Rouvre
14Mutually
15K T Brave
16Wonder Lider

Looks like Inti would take the lead. Mozu Ascot might mark Inti up front, if he could make a good start. Bulldog Boss has drawn a good post as well as Sunrise Nova, since Nova might not want to be squashed in the pack.

The End

Caterpillar

2/22  First G1 of the Year

6:34 p.m. I've groaned for hours and finally made up my mind for the first G1 race this year. So here's my call.

Will key Mozu Ascot on the first place of trifectas. On the wheel would be Inti and Nonkono Yume on the 2nd place and Bulldog Boss, Inti, Sunrise Nova and Nonkono Yume on the 3rd place. Vengeance, I grudgingly gave up. Would also add exactas with Inti on the first place and Nonko, Mozu, Nova on the 2nd for insurance.

The End

Caterpillar

2/23  Backfired

4:08 p.m. All my thinking has completely backfired. I never thought that someone, especially Yuichi would try to take the lead to his advantage...

Inti is a difficult horse to ride in the sense that he needs to race on his own. We all know how vulnerable the horse is when he can't run in his own rhythm from what we've seen in Miyako Stakes. Yet he isn't a fast starter. Yuichi tried to make the best out of that. Though his horse Wide Pharaoh, doesn't seem enough stamina to keep up with that lap and win. Eventually, he just set a high pace for the race to let Inti sink and high-pace seekers like Wonder Lieder do well. Vengeance might have done better if he'd stayed behind like usual, but then the rider must have thought that Inti would take the lead to set the pace, just like me.

Very regretful as I thought Mozu Ascot would probably win. And this would probably be the last chance I could be sure he'd win.

The End

Caterpillar

2/24  High Pace

5:14 p.m. Looking at the results of yesterday's February Stakes.

The first 3 furlongs were run in 34.6 seconds thanks to Wide Pharaoh, with 1000m in 58.7 seconds. It could be called high pace. To back it up, all the horses that went up front sank below 5th place, with the 5th place being Time Flyer who has great stamina and power. The high lap advantaged K T Brave who didn't have as much instantaneous speed than Nonko or Mozu or even Inti. I wonder where Nonko was? Must go and check the video.

As for the loss of Inti, the rason is probably because he couldn't race in his own rhythm. Horses taking the lead tend to be vulnerable. If Yutaka had switched his mind to take his position in the back once Wide Pharaoh stated his presence to lead the race, perhaps Inti might have finished in a higher place. In cases when the position in the pack changes the results, it is mostly affected by the pace of the race, not the characters of the horse. Inti needs to have his own race to perform well, but that doesn't always have to be up front where he will be targeted. He could stay behind if the pace is tight and the pack is lengthwise enough for the jockey to find a space for Inti to go with good rhythm. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to criticize Yutaka, no way!

The End

Caterpillar

2/25  Too Late

1:17 p.m. Another piece of my notes on February Stakes had been dug out accidentally, which included some alerts concerning the pace but too late. I will have to keep things organized...

This weekend my Win Bright is going to run Nakayama Kinen (with Filip Minarik on his back), but I'm worried as there are big names on the entry list; Indi Champ, Danon Kingly and Lucky Lilac. Two other G1 horses to beat is not an easy-peasy race, plus Minarik who's riding Win Bright for the first time in a race is enough to worry me.

The End

Caterpillar

2/26  For Your Information

5:10 p.m. Everywhere I go, peoplw are wearing face masks thanks to the strike of COVID-19, although none of them are coughing. No wonder we ran out of them. FYI, there is no scientific evidence that face masks can prevent being infected by COVID-19. If there is any effect in wearing face masks, it's to decrease the possibility to spread whatever virus you might have now. So why are they all wearing face masks when none of them seem to be having viral diseases? Surely, there musn't be so many people taking medicine to surpress their immune systems? Ah, they all must have pollen allergy!

Gosh, even the local races held in Ohi are going to be run without any audience. Not much of a problem since we can buy betting tickets through the Internet.

More serious a problem is that it transpired today, that if I'd bought betting tickets following my notes which I accidentally dug out a few days ago, I would have won an exacta at least... I know I'm stupid , but how stupid could I be? How?

The End

Caterpillar

2/27  Going With The Flow

4:01 p.m. Even JRA... has announced to run races without spectators from this weekend.

Well, I don't mind as long as they sell betting tickets and pay out. But in my humble opinion, race tracks are all outdoors. And it seems to me that thte risk of getting infected by COVID-19 is lower than in the train or subway cars during the morning and evening rush hours.

A lot of other events including anime events, musical concerts or shows are being cancelled, though I'm feeling more uneasy about the economy rather than the virus. Besides, if they keep cancelling every event, what would we have left to enjoy in the end? Surely, we need some recreation or we'll be too stressed when we're already stressed by work, human relationship, or evil mothers. I don't like this Japanese tradition to "go with the majority" without even thinking, just to avoid liability and trouble. I thought human unlike thoroughbreds, can use their brains to come up with a solution in case of troubles. Isn't now the time to make full use of that skill?

The End

Caterpillar

2/28  Keep Pushing

4:35 p.m. Although it's going to be a race without spectators, the barrier draw for Nakayama Kinen has been announced. Lucky Lilac has drawn post number 7, Danon Kingly 3, Win Bright 8, Indi Champ 1.

Indi Champ and Danon Kingly seem to have drawn better posts to focus on the race than Lucky Lilac or Win Bright. Though it also depends on the pace as well as which position the rider would take during the race. Maltese Apogee might take the lead and if Mirco doesn't hold back Lucky Lilac, it wouldn't be a slow pace I guess. In that case, the best position for Filip Minarik and Win Bright would be the middle. Start moving one breath before Lucky Lilac, sweep the outside and keep pushing until they hit the wire. Got it, Filip? Good luck!

The End

Caterpillar

2/29  First Things First

6:39 p.m. Haven't looked into Nakayama Kinen much, let alone Hankyu-hai. I had other things to give priority to. First things first.

If I'm to buy betting tickets for Nakayama Kinen, I would key Win Bright on a wheel of Indi Champ, Danon Kingly, Persian Knight and Lucky Lilac. Though I'm quite skeptical about Indi Champ and Danon Kingly. I don't think expanding the distance is a good choice for Indi Champ because he struggles to keep his rhythm. As for Danon Kingly, I just can't picture him doing well on the tricky Nakayama course.

The End

Caterpillar