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

4/01  Spring Series Non-Stop

4:27 p.m. The spring G1 series has already begun with Takamatsu-no Miya Kinen, and it will go on until Takaraduka Kinen unless someone in the horse racing circle gets infected by COVID-19.

Given that, I will have to start working on Osaka-hai coming up this weekend. There might have been more entries if not for the Dubai cancellation however, 13 horses including five G1 winners are entered so far. The entry will be closed tomorrow.

The End

Caterpillar

4/02  Ahhh...Soul Stirling

2:45 p.m. The entry for Osaka-hai has been closed with just 12 horses. 12? You mean, twelve?? I remember counting 13 yesterday and I didn't count Velox in because I knew he was scratching off.

Then who? Who scratched off at this last moment? Ahhh... Soul Stirling...

I've been puzzled for a while. She was going to retire after Nakayama Kinen but they withdrew the plan to enter her in Takamatsu-no Miya Kinen, a sprint race she'd never even run in her career from which she was eventually scratched off, only to run in Nikkei-sho the day before this time a 2500m Nakayama race that she's also never won in her career. Not to mention, she lost terribly. And now Soul Stirling has scratched off from Osaka-hai too just when the entry was being closed. Then why didn't they let her retire right after Nikkei-sho?

The End

Caterpillar

4/03  Start Pondering

5:56 p.m. Okay, the barrier draw for Osaka-hai has been announced, so let's take a look.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Lord My Way
2Satono Saltus
3Blast Onepiece
4Wagnerian
5Lucky Lilac
6Red Genial
7Stay Foolish
8Danon Kingly
9Makahiki
10Jinambo
11Cadenas
12Chrono Genesis

Hmmm... the weather seems to hold, so the track condition would probably be firm. That means the pace would be the key. If the pace slackens, it will be harder to take over from behind or outside. I've tapped in all the necessary data yesterday, so will start pondering now.

The End

Caterpillar

4/04  Sorry Again

7:46 p.m. Sorry I'm late again. I've been driven by work while being pestered.

So let's get right to the point. Will key Lucky Lilac on a wheel of Chrono Genesis, Danon Kingly, Blast Onepiece, and Wagnerian. Am thinking of buying trifectas, though in that case I'll buy Chrono Genesis on the first place too, for safe keeping.

The End

Caterpillar

4/05  Good Enough for Me

6:38 p.m. Yes! Yeeessss!! Well done Lucky Lilac! And Chrono Genesis, of course!!

It was a pity I hadn't bought exactas for Lucky Lilac and Chrono Genesis since I'd keyed them on the first and second place for my trifectas... Well, I'll have to think it over but winning a trifecta with just 6 bets was good enough for me. Congrats to those who'd believed in my call!

The End

Caterpillar

4/06  D'erby Winners

4:19 p.m. The media is busy ranting on about the coming lockdown of Tokyo, while I've been thinking about the performance of Wagnerian.

Wagnerian hasn't been performing like he should as a Japanese D'erby winner. It looks as though his performance was at its peak when he won the D'erby and has peaked-out since then. In fact, Wagnerian hasn't won since Kobe Shinbun-hai 2018. Well, in that sense you might say he's performing like he should be as the successive Japanese D'erby winners, Kizuna, One And Only, Duramente, Makahiki...

The End

Caterpillar

4/07  More Than Happpy

5:10 p.m. It seems the lockdown of Tokyo will not actually be a lockdown like New York or Paris. It will not have the force of that in N.Y. or Paris, we wouldn't need any permits to go out to buy food, and going to work is not strictly prohibited. We will just be requesed to stay home as much as possible. I wonder how effective that could be in this situation...

Still, it's a compensation personally, that horse race is still going on. We're having Ohka-sho this weekend if nothing goes wrong, Chrisotphe would be back in the saddle again, and I'll be more than happy to call the race.

The End

Caterpillar

4/08  No-Spectators Race Continued

3:16 p.m. JRA has announced they would continue no-spectators race related to the request of the government however, undergo some additional restrictions for the movement of horses and jockeys.

I was anxious they might stop holding races, but it turned out unnecessary. I'm glad to know that races are still held in this atmosphere of fear and anxiety. Besides, if I could win a race it would help support my otherwise dropping income. There's a horse I've been marking for months and I can't let this chance get away.

The End

Caterpillar

4/09  I Reckon

3:36 p.m. Oh yes, the barrier draw for Ohka-sho would be announced today as classic races usually are.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Nine to Five
2Chain of Love
3Smile Kana
4Sanctuaire
5Maltese Diosa
6Woman's Heart
7Hiruno Malibu
8Ria Amelia
9Daring Tact
10Fiori Chiari
11Cravache d'Or
12Intermission
13Magic Castle
14Miyamazakura
15Yamakatsu Mermaid
16Cape Cod
17Resistencia
18Epos

Ahh, this is interesting! Resistencia (Alice Synthesis Thirty) has drawn an outer post for the first time while her rivals Daring Tact and Sanctuaire respectively drew a middle post and an inner post. It would prbabaly affect the race, I reckon.

The End

Caterpillar

4/10  The Most Favored

6:05 p.m. Diligently working to figure out horses that would perform highly in Ohka-sho.

So far have laerned there are cases when the most favored horse do well and don't do well. It seems the risks are high for the most favored horse winning consecutively especially, the horses that have won prep G2 or G3 races together with Hanshin JF. These horses tend to lose in Ohka-sho though are generally favored (most facvored) because they haven't lost in the past races. However, winning races in a row is a double side sword since it builds up stress and fatigue in the horse.

The End

Caterpillar

4/11  What May or May Not

8:00 p.m. Sorry to keep you waiting, I've been torn between Cravache d'Or, Sanctuaire and Resistencia.

Rain is expected to fall in Hashin tomorrow but the question has been how much it would rain. I've thought it over and over and realized, there was no use worrying about what may be or may not be in the future.

Finally I've decided to key Resistencia. If Yutaka can draw out all of her strengths, she can win. On the wheel would be Sanctuaire, Cravache d'Or and Miyamazakura.

The End

Caterpillar

4/12  In Fact

6:01 p.m. Aaarrrrrgh! It was close!

In fact, I added Daring Tact and Ria Amelia on the wheel of my trio. I also thought of adding Smile Kana from fear she might hang on if she takes the lead smoothly, especially with the soft track condition however, I dismissed the idea - nah, she'd be taken over by some other horse to finish 4th place. Though the truth is that no other horse took her over except Daring Tact and Resistencia...

I thought either Cravache d'Or or Miyamazakura would take over the leading horse but it seems both of them were not fit for the race. Congrats to Matsuyama-kun for winning another G1. It was close, really.

The End

Caterpillar

4/13  Review and Future Perspective

3:43 p.m. Have reviewed Ohka-sho watching the video.

Judging from how Smile Kana was swaying this way and that in the last stretch, the turf condition must have been tougher than the announced soft. But then, it's true the trailers couldn't take her over even when she was running out of stamina.

Cravache d'Or simply wasn't in a good condition I assume. It seems she performs better in the first race after recess. Perhaps the horse needs more time to grow. If she survives in the top category until say, 5 years old, she might be able to win a big one in a longer distance. Sanctuaire didn't have the potential to win Ohka-sho. Should make a note on that linking to Shinzan Kinen. Miyamazakura might do better in mile G2s or G3s. As for Daring Tact, she'll probably do well in the Japanese Oaks, too. Extending distance eould be an advantage for her and if the track becomes soft, that would also become an advantage.

The End

Caterpillar

4/14  The Day Will Come Soon

5:16 p.m. I'm going on a search to find out if horses taking the lead in certain conditions are more likely to finish within 3rd place, following the performance of Smile Kana. It revoked the memory of Let's Go Donki, though that year Ohka-sho was run in a slow pace so the situation was quite different. Still, this happened on the same course in the same distance which sugeests the possibility.

In the meantime, the entry list for Satsuki-sho has been released with names of Salios, Contrail, Satono Flag, Weltreisende, Black Hole on the list. Now I'm savoring the happiness of still being able to watch races and bet on horses, but I hope the day will come soon when we will be able to see the races by the tracks again. I miss the excitement as much as all the crew and jockeys do.

The End

Caterpillar

4/15  I Wish I Could

2:42 p.m. There are 19 horses entered for Satauki-sho as of this afternoon, and one horse is on the borderline when put in prize money order, Tempin.

Tempin has only run in one race so far where he made his debut. He has won in that race and earned himself 7 million yen as prize money. However, the least earning horse entered in Satsuki-sho besides Tempin is Deep Bond earning over 10 million yen, which leaves a 3 million prize money gap in between.

Normally, if there are no horse scratching off, Tempin will not be able to run in Satsuki-sho. He's on the brink of running in a classic race or not. Since he was born as a racing horse like all his other competitors, I wish I could give him a chance.

The End

Caterpillar

4/16  Tempin Made It

4:50 p.m. Okay, the barrier draw for Satsuki-sho has been announced.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Contrail
2L'exellence
3Cortesia
4Tempin
5Satono Flag
6Deep Bond
7Salios
8Win Carnelian
9Black Hole
10American Seed
11Crystal Black
12My Rhapsody
13Darlington Hall
14Chimera Verite
15Rhinebeck
16Galore Creek
17Weltreisende
18Bitterender

Tempin has made it, yay! Contrail drawing the most inner post is concerning as the barriers are full and he might have to hit on the breaks while he's gaining speed, especially on Nakayama turf. Though my worry might turn out to be unnecessary depending on how much it rains from tomorrow to Saturday.

The End

Caterpillar

4/17  If Three Ride Up

4:20 p.m. The barrier draw has been announced, it's time to start pondering about Satsuki-sho. I'm going into a thorough analysis and selection process from now but here's something I already know.

The win odds suggests that Contrail, Satono Flag and Salios are a step ahead of others and you might think Satsuki-sho could end up with the top 3 favored horses. Hold on, chillax. There were only 2 times in the past 20 years when Satsuki-sho finished with the top 3 favored horses. That means 85% this won't happen. As they say in horse race, if three ride up on a horse, (at least) one (or maybe all) must stay behind.

The End

Caterpillar

4/18  Teething Fever

7:12 p.m. It took a long time to conclude and I'm still not sure but have finally decided my call for Satsuki-sho.

Will key Salios. Considering all options; the pace, the track condition, the potential of each horse, which races they have run, how they performed, whether they have left over damage, and the advantages or disadvantages, Salios seems to be the most reasonable. On the wheel of Contrail, Satono Flag, Black Hole, Crystal Black and Weltreisende.

I'm drained, I might have teething fever.

The End

Caterpillar

4/19  Classical Races Completed

6:39 p.m. Contrail proved to be a great horse! Congratulations to Yuichi who completed winning all classical races. Perhaps he didn't mean to stay that way behind, but well, it turned out well in the end. If he'd gone up front, he might not have won.

Damian did a good job with Salios, it was just that Deep Impact descendants do better with instantaneous speed. I'm sure many chances will come for this horse in the future and from his sire background, he would become better and better while Deep descendants stop winning at some point. Save the best moment for later.

As I often do, I cut out Satono Flag after I saw that he'd lost a bit of his weight. It's a bad sign for Deep descendants. However, I'd added L'exellence instead which was a total blunder.

The End

Caterpillar

4/20  How to Handle Spring Stakes

3:11 p.m. Pondering the reason why I bought L'excellence instead of Galore Creek. Or rather, Weltreisende instead of Galoire Creek.

Have always been troubled with how to handle Spring Stakes winners and runner-ups in calling Satsuki-sho. They could be quite a nuissance as a matter of fact. Spring Stakes is one of the trial races for horses aiming to enter Satsuki-sho, but it's also the most closest trial race to Satsuki-sho which gives priority entry to horses that finished within 3rd place.

Because it's the closest trial race to Satsuki-sho, the risk of physical and mental damage on the winning horse is unavoidable. That's why I'd chosen Weltrisende (the Spring Stakes runner-up this year) instead of Galoire Creek. Though it turned out that Galoire Creek was tough enough to handle the fatigue and stress.

The End

Caterpillar

4/21  Having Long Distance Races

3:48 p.m. Haven't finished up my Satsuki-sho report yet but unable to hold down the urge, been to take a peek of Tennno-sho's entry list.

Erm... this is going to be... No, I can't say anything solid at this time of point. Though it's a pity there are only two G1 horses entered with both of them not smooth sailing.

There's been a discussion on the meaning of having a long distance race like Tenno-sho for some time. Perhaps it's time to think about it a bit more seriously.

The End

Caterpillar

4/22  Now I Know

4:33 p.m. Well, there's gonna be a winner and a runner-up and a 3rd place winner however the competitors of Tenno-sho (spring) may be. There aren't any G1s this weekend so think I'll start listing up my candidates.

The news of Crystal Black having deloped bowed tendon came as a shock but was convinced in a way. I thought he would perform better in Satsuki-sho though he didn't have the speed he usually has in the last stretch. I was puzzled at the time of the race but now I know.

The End

Caterpillar

4/23  It's Natural

4:05 p.m. JRA has announced they will hold races without spectators until May 31st, that is including Japanese D'erby. I was hoping they'd be able to hold D'erby with spectators but well, it can't be helped I guess considering the current situation. I'm saying this over and over again, but I'm really grateful that JRA is still holding races, though. Hopefully, we'll be able to enjoy the races as before in autumn.

Meanwhile, Resistencia has been announced to enter NHK Mile Cup, whereas Contrail, L'excellence and some others are headed for D'erby. Fukushima Hinba Stakes, Flora Stakes and Milers' Cup will be held this weekend, though I'm already getting anxious for Tenno-sho so I'm not sure whether I will call any of these races. Well, it's natural one loses interest when Indi Champ or Sky Groove are in the money, especially when both races are step races for the upcoming G1s don't you think?

The End

Caterpillar

4/24  Just a Coincidence?

4:46 p.m. The barrier draw for both Flora Srakes and Milers' Cup has been announced.

Looks like Sky Groove has drawn post number 9. Don't think that post numbers matter so much with Skay Groove, though as she'd probably go up front. The fast and firm track of the opening week of Tokyo would be an advantage to her, too.

However, because she would probably go up front, it's also very likely that she would be targeted by a trailer with speed. Additionally, Flora Stakes annually tends to end up in an instantaneous speed contest. Horse race fans might recall Epiphaneia taking the lead and being taken over by Kizuna in the last stretch of the Japanese D'erby, losing in 2nd place by a nose. Could it be just a coincidence that I see 2 Kizuna descendants on the racing form while Sky Groove is an Epiphaneia descendant? Some people say, history repeats itself.

The End

Caterpillar

4/25  Pay Off the Loss

4:22 p.m. I decided not to buy betting tickets this week. I might as well save it for Tenno-sho next week.

Though if I were to buy betting tickets, hmmm,,, I'd probably key Ho O Peaceful and put Sky Groove on the wheel perhaps, together with Elevatezza, Red le Reve, Shonan Hallelujah and Juana.

Would a Kizuna descendant take over or would Sky Groove pay off the loss of her father? Let's wait and see what happens.

The End

Caterpillar

4/26  Fake

6:25 p.m. Another painful one. I keyed Ho O Peaceful who came in 2nd place on a wheel, and the only horse I didn't include in the wheel wins...

Well, I put my hope on Elevetzza, though the rider did a blunder at the start and didn't even try to recover his position on a fast track like today, so her loss ccouldn't be helped. As for Sky Groove, I don't understand why the crew seems to be so persistent in forcing her to harmonaize, since if Christophe didn't have a fuss with her, things might have been different. Oh well, it could be that it was just a fake considering the Japanese Oaks. Who knows, Sky Groove might shot out the barrier and have a wire-to-wire victory in the Oaks.

The End

Caterpillar

4/27  The Guy's Got Luck

4:41 p.m. While jockeys are going under restrictions for COVID-19, there's been an accident in Kyoto's 1st race held yesterday.

Dive in Dirt (male 3yrs old) ridden by Iwata (senior) has collapsed at the entrance of the last stretch, involving 5 other horses Marble Lady, Abbey Shoot, Chamuel, Akatsuki Linda and Sammaru Mao Rio. Of the 5 riders who fell on the track, Iwata is suspected to have broken his right long bone in the arm. Iwata was going to ride You Can Smile this weekend in Tenno-sho (spring), though his name is deleted from the entry list as of this afternoon.

The rider of Marble Lady, Matsuyama who has just won Ohka-sho with Daring Tact also was suspected to have fractures however, trainer Ikezoe revealed that Matsuyama called up to report that he had no major injuries and was able to ride Meisho Tengen in Tenno-sho. The guy's got luck, I guess.

The End

Caterpillar

4/28  Settled

4:16 p.m. Just as I wrote Matsuyama was okay, news come out that he wasn't okay... It transpired that there has been a fracture actually, after close inspection and Matsuyama's name has been deleted from the entry list of Tenno-sho (spring), just like Iwata.

Today, netkeiba.com reported You Can Smile is having Hamanaka as his rider while Meisho Tengen is going to be ridden by Miyuki. So that's settled.

The End

Caterpillar

4/29  Difficult Position

4:35 p.m. It really doesn't matter if today is a public holiday or not while we're under "Stay Home" campaign, but I thought it might be good to start on my Tenno-sho research.

It seems King Kamehameha descendats have never won this race. As far as I can remember, there were few King Kamehameha descendants that actually entered this race in the first place. Eishin Flash was one of them but he lost against Hiruno d'Amour whom he'd beaten in the Japanese D'erby. This puts You Can Smile in a difficult position.

Also, the most favored horses don't seem to perfom up to their expectations, which puts Fierment in a difficult position, too.

The End

Caterpillar

4/30  Kiseki Drew a Good Post

2:22 p.m. The barrier draw for Tenno-sho (spring) has been announced!

Post NumberHorse Name
1Mozu Bello
2Etario
3Tosen Cambina
4Danburite
5Mikki Swallow
6Stiffelio
7You Can Smile
8Kiseki
9Miraieno Tsubasa
10Melody Lane
11Meisho Tengen
12Shirvanshah
13Happy Grin
14Fierement

Kiseki drew a good post I think, and it's probably good for the horse that there aren't too many competitors. The fast Kyoto track might advantage him too. As for Fierement, the outer post won't be much of a problem for this horse, considering his performance last year. Besides, he's not the type to try to break free.

The End

Caterpillar