2020/9
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9/01  The Youngest, Most Fresh Horse

6:57 p.m. We're having Niigata Kinen this weekend which reminds me that the summer races will soon be over, although hot days still go on for another month or so.

I've always thought that Niigata Kinen would give advantage to the youngest, most fresh horse as you can see from the results of the past couple of years. However, this year I have a hunch it won't finish that easily. The youngest, seemingly most fresh horse entering this year is Wakea. He might become the most favored in win odds, but I feel reluctant to put full trust in this horse at least, not at the moment.

The End

Caterpillar

9/02  Prime Minister Race

5:00 p.m. As I was wondering what to write today, Cow suggested writing about the post-Abe prime minister race replacing the candidates with famous race horses. I asked him to give an example and he says I should replace Ishiba with old Pelusa...

How dare you. Pelusa was a good horse.

The End

Caterpillar

9/03  Pace Not Tight

5:10 p.m. The entry for Niigata Kinen has been closed and it seems it's going to be a full-field race. Still, it dosen't look like the pace is going to be tight.

Looking at the past 10 years' results, there hasn't been a year that went in high pace even in a full-field race. Niigata 2000m don't usually become high-lapped considering the course layout, as there's no need to get a good position at the beginning of the race. Plus, the track seemingly won't be soft.

Given that, the requirements don't exactly meet the conditions Wakea to perform highly. Wakea has performed well on tough turf condition, which backs up the fact he is a Hearts' Cry descendant who performs better in a race that requires power and stamina, rather than quick-footed speed.

The End

Caterpillar

9/04  Any Horse in Particular

4:18 p.m. The barrier draw for Niigata Kinen has been announced. Hmm... There isn't any horse in particular that stands out as drawing a good post. Well, if I have to pick out one, it may be Cadenas.

Since Cadenas is a Deep Impact descendant, it would be better for the horse to draw an outer post in oeder not to have to hit the brakes when the race speeds up at the end. A wide spacious course like Niigata might also be good for him, assuming from his broodmare sire. However, Cadenas is carrying the top weight of 58kg for the first time in his life. This could become a burden if/when the pace slackens and anaerobic match is required for the last 200m before the finish.

The End

Caterpillar

9/05  Once Around

8:00 p.m. It's become a ritual every weekend, but I am drained... Have had extended work while answering to messages coming in non-stop.

In the end, went once around and came back to the start settling for Wakea as my key. I'd rather jump off the cliff with a fresh 3-year-old than an untrustworthy 4-year-old. Onthe wheel would be Ice Bubble, Peace One Pradis, Ice Storm, Gold Gear, and Cadenas. Ice Bubble or Ice Storm would be nice in this heat.

The End

Caterpillar

9/06  Another Epic Fail

5:36 p.m. Another epic fail... not even a horse I bought finished within 5th place, not to mention the 3rd place.

I thought the turf condition was tough and needs power and stamina, just as it was in Sapporo or Hakodate. The winning records for the past couple of weeks showed it took more time than I'd expected of the ususal firm and fast track of Niigata. That's why I keyed Wakea, a Hearts' Cry descendant that performs best when the last 3 furlongs take more than 35 seconds.

And then, Bravas wins Niigata Kinen wrapping up the last 3 furlongs in a flashy 32.6 seconds... The pace was slow, but that's not the only reason. The truth is that the turf wasn't time-consuming at all, rather the opposite.

The End

Caterpillar

9/07  WINS Re-Opening

5:01 p.m. JRA has announced thr re-opening of WINS (off-track betting) with restrictions from Saturday, 12th September. About time.

According to the announcement, Park WINS in Tokyo Race Course, Kyoto Race Course, Hanshin Race Course and WINS nation-wide are re-opening, though the opening hours are shortened to 2:00 p.m. Also, they will not display race videos, odds information and will not payout betting tickets for tickets sold on the same day, in order to avoid the "3Cs". For your information, &qout;3Cs" stand for 1) Closed spaces with poor ventilation, 2) Crowded places with many people nearby, and 3) Close-contact setting such as close-range conversations.

Hopefully, we'll be able to get together again at WINS for the autumn G1 series.

The End

Caterpillar

9/08  Another Troubling Week

6:36 p.m. Another troubling week of choosing races...

Thanks to the renovation of Kyoto Race Course, Centaur Stakes which is annually held at Hanshin Race Course is going to be held at Chukyo. This means the race results may change drastically, due to the course layout and track condition regardless of the distance.

There is another grade race this weekend on Nakayama, Keisei-hai Autumn Handicap however, I've been avoiding the race since calling this race is like drawing the straws. Besides, I don't have any notes for Keisei-hai because I've been avoiding it. Well, that leaves only one answer....

The End

Caterpillar

9/09  A Problem

5:16 p.m. Whether to call Centaur Stakes run on Chukyo or instantaneous speed contest Kesei-hai is a problem, at least for me it is.

In the meantime, last year's Sprinters' Stakes champion Tower of London has been announced to scratch off from this year's Sprinters' Stakes. His hooves' condition doesn't seem to be improving, according to the announcement. So that was the reason for the horse's poor performance after he won the G1.

The End

Caterpillar

9/10  Tilting Towards

5:46 p.m. Still undecided... but tilting towards Centaur Stakes. Must check the weather for the weekend, though. That might help deciding a bit.

I've been down on my luck today, having been waited at the clinic for an hour despite my appointment, falling on my stomach at a road-side construction site scraping all over and breaking my glasses. Wonder what the security guy was for, standing there just watching until I barely got up on my own. Then, he asks me if I'm okay. Yes, as I was able to get up without his help, but felt terrible.

The End

Caterpillar

9/11  If I Were a Businessman

6:19 p.m. The barrier draw for this weekend's races have been announced, and I'm feeling like Keisei-hai Autumn Handicap was the better choice...

Having seen Luftstrom draw an inner post made me think he's the one to key. However, I've already started preparing for Centaur Stakes. If I were a competent businessman with an MBA, I would decide to pull out before the wound gets bigger and take the course I think is better. But I'm not, and my motto is to put in all I can in whatever I'm facing. So I'm sticking to Centaur Stakes, win or lose.

Have just checked out the weather of Chukyo Race Course for this weekend. Looks like it won't be affected by the tropical depression approaching the Kanto area.

The End

Caterpillar

9/12  To Be Honest

7:40 p.m. Again, very tired as usual... I'm suspecting there might be some health problem behind this exhaustion, really.

I will key Bien Fait for Centaur Stakes. To be honest, I don't have confidence. There was no 1200m race today in Chukyo, and although the track condition has been announced toahave improved from soft to good, I don't have a clue to what it's actually like. The only thing I know is that unless the pace falls on a precisely average lap, instantaneous speed is a must. Therefore, I'm counting on Bien Fait.

On the wheel would be Loving Answer, Mister Melody, Shivaji, and Danon Smash.

The End

Caterpillar

9/13  Not 5th Place

4:16 p.m. I can forgive a 3rd plasce though aiming for 1st place. But not 5th place aiming for 3rd, Bien Faint...

First of all, I don't see the point in reserving in the 2nd or 3rd position when the horse has performed well taking the lead. And then, he gets taken over with only 50 more meters to go. I didn't ask for him to win. I lowered the goal for him to finish within 3rd. And he loses in 5th place. Whilst all the 3-year-olds that have run this race before has finished within 3rd place.

The End

Caterpillar

9/14  Misjudged

5:33 p.m. Looking at yesterday's Centaur Stakes' results. I've made a note that "judging the pace right would be the key" and I've obviously misjudged. I thought it wouldn't be this fast, but the lap became quite tight. Consequently, horses that wen t up front all sank including Bien Fait.

Step races for the autumn G1 has already begun and this week we're having Rose Stakes for the fillies, and Centlight Kinen for the male 3-year-olds. This week I don't have to be torn between two races, though as my mind is set on Centlight Kinen.

The End

Caterpillar

9/15  Become an Expert

5:29 p.m. Fighting terrible sleepiness since I had to get up earlier than usual to go to the dentist. Halfway through my treatment and I've become an expert in brushing my teeth.

Assumingly, Satono Flag would be the most favored in Centlight Kinen followed by Galore Creek. Satono Flag has already won a 2000m G2 on Nakayama turf so there's no wonder. However, he's a Deep Impact descendant meaning, that it would be difficult for the horse to come back with a win after he'd lost big two races in a row.

As for Galore Creek, he doesn't seem to do well after a break over 3 months. It would be better to keep him for the next. Although both horses are fresh back from summer recess, that's why my interest is on a different horse.

The End

Caterpillar

9/16  So Unfair

5:41 p.m. Although I didn't win Centaur Stakes, it made me feel good watching the interview of Kosei Miura after the race. He's won the step race and I thought he would ride Danon Smash in Sprinters' Stakes, too. Miura has been let down with Danon Smash this spring, when he was announced to ride Danon Smash in Takamatsu-no-miya Kinen but replaced by the former rider Yuga Kawada, since all races at Dubai was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. I though that this time Miura has won himself the chance to ride. And then, this.

It's been announced today that Danon Smash will enter Sprinters' Stakes with Kawada as the rider. This is so unfair. I don't know what is going on behind the scenes, but I just couldn't let this pass. Miura has won the G2 step for Sprinters' Stakes. Kawada hasn't even ridden Danon Smash since he last won with the horse in Fuji Ocean Stakes G3 this March.

Doing things like this, someday whoever decided this would get his/her ass kicked.

The End

Caterpillar

9/17  Apology and Correction

5:28 p.m. There was an error in what I've written yesterday, so I will apologize and correct it. Kawada had ridden Danon Smash once after Fuji Ocean Stakes. He'd ridden in Takamatsu-no-miya Kinen. But he's lost in 10th place so the part I said he hasn't won is correct.

Looks like Centlight Kinen is going to be a small-field race. The barrier draw and track condition might affect the pace, too. Depending on these factors, my horse of interest might do well. Crossing fingers till the barrier draw.

The End

Caterpillar

9/18  Feeling Dubious

5:51 p.m. The barrier draw for Rose Stakes, a trial for Shuka-sho has been announced, though Centlight Kinen's draw are yet to be announced. Centlight Kinen will be run on Monday, 21st so the draw will not be announced yet.

Scanning the racing form of Rose Stakes, feeling dubious about the three Hearts' Cry descendants especially Woman's Heart and Cravache d'Or. I've been deceived by both of them just like I've been deceived by Wakea in Niigata Kinen. Don't feel like trusting them. Perhaps Line Of Dance might have a better chance in the three.

The End

Caterpillar

9/19  Wild Guess

7:44 p.m. As previously said, Centlight Kinen will be run on Monday, so I'll call the race tomorrow. Today, I'd like to make a wild guess on Rose Stakes running tomorrow.

Looking at the results of today's main race at Chukyo Cepheus Stakes, run on the same course and distance as Rose Stakes, I can see that the track seems to give advantage to the lookers, rather than the front runners. Judging from the fact that Tricolor Blue and Fratz finished 1st and 2nd despite their weight handicap, it seems chances are better for horses that boost their engines on the homestretch from the outside. Even in an average pace, which usually tends to merit the front runners.

Therefore, I think things might work well for horses like Des Ailes, Musica, Lily Pure Heart, or even Ria Amelia, though I wouldn't push Ria Amelia in usual situations. It could become a Deep Impact descendant festival.

The End

Caterpillar

9/20  My Horse of Interest

6:42 p.m. Sorry for being late again... and again. It's been a day-off and I'd been sleeping late, real late like way into the afternoon.

So, my call for Centlight Kinen. I will key Babbitt, my horse of interest. If he goes down, I'll go down with him. I think the given conditions will suit this horse who would probably take the lead. It's a matter of his potential and left-over damage whether or not he finishes within 3rd place.

On the wheel would be Reinheit, Figlio Allegro, Galore Creek, Satono Flag, and Valcos. Rose Stakes finished in a Deep festival, by the way.

The End

Caterpillar