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2021/ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2/01  Same View

4:57 p.m. Have come across an interesting article about Negishi Stakes runners' performance in February Stakes, sharing the same view as myself. Well, the truth usually points in the same direction.

We've entered February like most of you out there and on the first weekend we've got Tokyo Shinbun-hai and Kisaragi-sho, though Kisaragi-sho annually held at Kyoto would be held at Chukyo this year. Older horses that couldn't perform well in mid-distance like 2000m are shortening their range to 1600m to seek for chances in Tokyo Shinbun-hai. Nishino Daisy is among them and I wonder how he would do in a mile race? I think the stage setting suits the horse. Maybe if the lap becomes tight, he might get a chance.

Hope JRA has uploaded this year's grade race calendar, by the way. I need to sync it with my google calendar and have been waiting for a month.

The End

Caterpillar

2/02  Hope

5:40 p.m. Although there are occasional swings back to winter, the temperature is gradually rising. The seaosn is slowly but surely changing. Hopefully the corona pandemic would follow in its steps.

With the first call of spring, I've taken a peek at the entry list of Kisaragi-sho to come across a horse that gives me hope. Lagom is the name, he seems more hopeful than Yoho Lake who came in 3rd place in last year's Hopeful Stakes, well at least to my eyes.

Wow, how many times am I typing "hope" today? Just recalled my childhood friend whose name was Hope. I hope she's doing well.

The End

Caterpillar

2/03  A Sibling Match

5:32 p.m. Breaking news. Gran Alegria is entering Osaka-hai. That means she's going to race against Contrail. It's going to be a sibling match, then.

The focus would be on whether Gran Alegria, last year's sprint champion could cover the distance of 2000 meters or not. There is a chance sure, as she has won Tokyo mile or Hanshin mile, both courses that requires power and stamina. Though it seems like it depends more on her native character than her stamina IMHO. Gran Alegria has performed well in tight-lapped races or short distances which suggests her single-minded character. In that sense, a 2000 meter race might not be her specialty since the pace are likely to change within a race.

The End

Caterpillar

2/04  uuuunnngh...

4:42 p.m. Looking at the entry form for Tokyo Shinbun-hai and uuuunnngh... can't say anything reliable as the barriers haven't been dranwn yet but I don't think Vin de Garde would win that easily as the win odds suggest. Neither am I expecting on Shadow Diva. It's very unlikely to rain in Tokyo this weekend.

It seem to depend largely on the barrier, but Entscheiden, Satono Wizard, or Triple Ace looks more interesting to me. They all need to draw outer posts in order to avoid hitting the brakes while accelerating, unless it becomes a tight lap which is also unlikely as the weather.

Haven't decided which race to call yet, though. Kisaragi-sho or Tokyo Shinbun-hai?

The End

Caterpillar

2/05  Except for...

7:03 p.m. The barriers have been announced. Looks like my targets of interests have all drawn outer posts except for Satono Wizard. Hmmm...

Don't think it would become a high-lapped race unless some horse starting from inner posts bolts off or states initiative to go up front. If that happens though, my fear for Satono Wizard getting squashed in the field would be blown away. Come to think of it, he wouldn't get squashed if he stays behind like as usual. His trainer has mentioned something about clearing the last corner skillfully, so that might become the key to success.

As you can see, I've decided to call Tokyo Shinbun-hai this week. Can't take risks on a 3-year-old horse that has bolted off in its last race to waste time on a training re-exam, no matter how high a potential the horse might have. Remember Orfevre? No, I haven't forgotten his performance after Hanshin Dai-shoten.

The End

Caterpillar

2/06  Daring Tact to Hong Kong

6:33 p.m. Daring Tact has been announced to pre-enter Queen Elizabeth Cup in Hong Kong. That means she will not run Osaka-hai. Meanwhile Land of Liberty has become the top favored in Kisaragi-sho. Looks like there are many people who enjoy risky games.

For Tokyo Shinbun-hai, I keyed Satono Wizard. Have been torn between Karate however, Karate has sunk low in the next race he'd performed highly so I chose Wizard. The horse might use some magic and come flying to the top. After all, he's a "wizard". Can't tell much from just a couple of turf races run but judging from today's results, Tokyo turf seems to be firm and fast. So I've chosen horses that should perform well on such track condition.

The End

Caterpillar

2/07  Should Have

4:15 p.m. Should have chosen Karate to key... Satono Wizard has lagged at the start (as usual) which was critical in an apparently, not-so-fast lap. Young Sugawara, the rider of Karate had done a much better job than Sameshima older brother who rode Satono Wizard. What place did Satono Wizard finish anyway? 9th place...

On the other hand, my personal horse of interest Lagom has won Kisaragi-sho. Though I think I decided right about calling Tokyo Shinbun-hai instead of Kisaragi-sho. The payout for a trio was only 670 yen since the top 2 favored horses, Land of Liberty and Yoho Lake finished 3rd and 2nd, respectively. One step at a time, I tell myself.

The End

Caterpillar

2/08  Couldn't Resist

4:14 p.m. I was going to review yesterday's race but then just couldn't resist the urge to see the entry form for this weekend's Kyoto Kinen, knowing it would be run on Hanshin 2200m instead of Kyoto. Isn't it wierd when the race name contains &qot;Kyoto"? I still can't shake off that strange feeling when a race has Kyoto included in its name and yet run on other tracks. Better get used to it as it will go on for another year and a half.

Amazing, was the first word that came out of my mouth when I saw the entry form. I mean, how am I supposed to predict a winning horse from this list while no horse seems to be able to win? Sure, some horse will win since it's a race, but... Who could blame if Jinambo or Stay Foolish goes up front and hangs in there? And who could assure you if Wagnerian or Loves Only You will come zapping up from the back? Wow, this is going to be difficult.

The End

Caterpillar

2/09  My Notes

5:57 p.m. Reviewed my notes on Kyoto Kinen from last year but then realize what use does it make? as it will be run on Hanshin turf, not Kyoto. Should rather pull out my notes for Takaraduka Kinen.

It seems I've taken down the notes quite enthusiastically and there's a long list of conditions for horses to cross out. I must have been very regretful about trusting Saturnalia too much.

Afraid I can't write them all here due to a matter of space and time so I'd summarize it down to a few points. Buy the horses that are power type and can go up front, having raced in shorter distances previously. Others, don't buy.

The End

Caterpillar

2/10  The Power Types

6:07 p.m. Okay, so which horses are the power type that can go up front and have raced in shorter distances previously?

Well, perhaps Dance Delight, Danburite, Leyenda could be considered as power types and they can go up front. Jinambo is also a power type but he hasn't raced in the front for a while. Let's see if there are any horses that have raced in shorter distances in their previous races. Ah, found one. Look who's here, Leyenda!

The End

Caterpillar

2/11  Their Problem, Not Mine

6:45 p.m. Windows Update has been tormenting my old laptop for over an hour now. A system program that's supposed to deal with such updates have been power-harassing my laptop's hard drive to over 90 percent of its capacity, occasionally 100. Having to distribute security updates is Microsoft's problem not mine nor my laptop's. My poor lap-top.

Under such condition, haven't been able to do a full research on Kyoto Kinen so far. I'm limitting my tasks to the least necessary for now.

The End

Caterpillar

2/12  Not Going to Buy

6:23 p.m. The barriers for Kyoto Kinen has been announced as well as Kyodo Tsushin-hai, the step race for Satsuki-sho. Am planning to call Kyoto Kinen but am not going to buy betting tickets for the race as the win odds for the most favored went below what I'd expected. I'd made that my rule last summer though I've forgotten it clean, only to fail in collecting my bet in the autumn G1 races. What a fool.

Since Kyoto Kinen is a small-field race and the lap doesn't seem to become tight, the inner post drawers and the horse that go up front will have the advantage. The outer post drawers might have a hard time unless they go up front to take a good position within 5 lengths from the leading horse whoever that might be. Have to admit though, that horses that don't have enough spontaneous speed will have lesser chances even if they go up front.

The End

Caterpillar

2/13  Fully Recovered

7:21 p.m. Checked out the results of today's turf races on Hanshin tracks. I've worried that the turf condition might not have fully recovered from last year, though the results seem to show my worries were unnecessary. The winning time is relatively fast which means the track condition is fast and firm.

Considering the lap won't be so tight in Kyoto Kinen, the front runners are likely to be taken over by horses that fits the fast track and have spontaneous speed as well. Taking this into account, I will key Loves Only You on a wheel of Dance Delight, Leyenda, Wagnerian and Mozu Bello. Have a feeling it won't be a wild race, though. Possibly, finish within the top 5 favored.

The End

Caterpillar

2/14  Power-Type Front Runners

4:57 p.m. The win odds for Loves Only You dropped below 2.0 so it was good I didn't buy betting tickets today. Well done, me. However, the power-type front runners Stay Foolish and Daburite, had stayed to finish 2nd and 3rd against my expectation.

It's likely for front runners to perform well when the lap settles to an average pace and, Danburite was lucky enough to keep his own rhythm without having other horses poking. Mozu Bello didn't blast its sharp speed today, for some reason. Perhaps it's the course, perhaps it's the horse's condition, just can't tell aat this point. As for Wagnerian, I can almost hear people saying that it was a good enough performance for a prep race for Osaka-hai, but I haven't seen the speed this horse used to show in his earlier career in a while and neither did I see it today. I'm afraid the horse has peaked out.

The End

Caterpillar

2/15  Wagnerian Entering Osaka-hai

4:29 p.m. It's been announced that Wagnerian is aiming to enter Osaka-hai this spring. As expected. The thing is, I don't think that's a good rac to enter for this horse if winning is concerned. I mean of course they want to win, but it would be difficult for Wagnerian to win Osaka-hai.

There are two reasons why. One is because the horse has already gone over its prime and two, because the racing schedule running Osaka-hai after Kyoto Kinen will not boost the horse's performance, rather the contrary.

Deep Impact descendants have a typical biorhythm of their highest performances concentrated in a period of their career. And due to this concentration, their performance drops after they've peaked out usually without recovering again. Once Deep Impact descendants begin to lose big, it's rare for them pop up to the surface again to win.

Reason two can be figured from the past results of Wagnerian. He has been improving his performance mostly when the distance becomes longer than his previous races. Thus Wagnerian will not win Osaka-hai. Unless the track gets soft with rain. Only then I'd put him on my wheel.

The End

Caterpillar

2/16  Not the Time

6:55 p.m. But then, Osaka-hai is still a month and a half away. Now is not the time to be thinking about Osaka-hai, I should be focusing on February Stakes! Especially when I won't be able to watch the race on real time basis since I have a meeting with our tax accountant...

Tried to pull up my notes from last year then realized there wasn't any. Must have been fully disappointed in my own performance. So I'm looking back at my "Murmur" from February 23rd, 2020 and I WAS disappointed with having keyed Mozu Ascot on 1st place, Sunrise Nova on 3rd place though not including K.T. Brave in my trifecta. Ugh. Recalling the race and reliving the pain.

The End

Caterpillar

2/17  Suddenly Struck

6:03 p.m. It suddenly struck me when I was trying to dig out my past notes of February Stakes. High performers in Tokyo Dai-shoten also had careers of performing well in February Stakes. I used that information to win Tokyo Dai-shoten. Would it be possible that the reverse is also true? If so, that could become a huge help.

Tokyo mile is a characteristic course in its own way and I tend to put weight on aptitude. There are several horses entered that have aptitude for Tokyo dirt 1600m and one of them has clearly high aptitude. Think I'll build up my call centering this horse. The entry will be closed tomorrow.

The End

Caterpillar

2/18  Good Chance is Enough

4:48 p.m. Doing my homework, researching the entrees of February Stakes.

It traspired that the horse I've secretly been supporting might not have enough background to win although he have a good chance of performing well. But then, there's only one 4-year-old. Even the 5-year-olds count up to merely 5 in a 16-horse race. Who can blame if an older horse beats them all? In fact, the younger generations have already proven their level against the older horses, haven't they? Sorry I'm a bit irritated, there's been repetitive spam calls this afternoon.

The End

Caterpillar

2/19  Woah

5:15 p.m. The barrier draw for February Stakes has been announced.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Air Almas
2Inti
3Cafe Pharaoh
4Helios
5Success Energy
6Arctos
7Wonder Lider
8Wide Pharaoh
9Sunrise Nova
10Air Spinel
11Smart Dandy
12Ymanin Imprime
13Soliste Thunder
14Auvergne
15Mutually
16Red le Zele

Woah. Red le Zele has drawn the outmost post while inti and Cafe Pharaoh drew inner posts. Wonder if Inti would take the lead with Air Almas in the inside and his fateful rival, Wide Pharaoh on the outside? Why isn't Casino Fountain entering, BTW?

The End

Caterpillar

2/20  In Vain

8:41 p.m. Sorry for the delay. I've been trying in vain to dig out my notes. It turned out that although I've found a file that looks like notes from last yeear's February Stakes, it was broken an unreadable. Think I've been down this road before I mean, the searching part. After the desperate search, I got tired and gave up.

So despite Naomi Osaka's fabulous win in Australian Open, might be doing a sloppy job of keying Red le Zele. Was putting my hopes on another horse, but since his condition seems bad I changed my key. On the wheel would be Air Almas, Cafe Pharaoh, Arctos, Wonder Lider, and Auvergne. I'm going home now. Wonder if I could still do some shopping?

The End

Caterpillar

2/21  Getting Anxious, in Haste

9:11 p.m. Had a meeting in the afternoon which started from 2 p.m. and went on way past 3:30. I was getting anxious by a quarter to 3 that maybe I won't be able to buy betting tickets, but an error was found on a document and my counterpart left her seat to correct it. I'd barely bought the betting tickets when she came back with the corrected document. Phew. Though in my haste, I have mistaken my key, Red le Zele for Sunrise Nova...

I was thinking of keying Sunrise Nova because of his high Tokyo aptitude through last week but then decided against it since our training squad put a question mark on his condition. Not that it matters. I've lost big anyway.

The End

Caterpillar

2/22  Perhaps Tomorrow

7:25 p.m. I haven't had time (nor energy) yesterday to launch my old lap-top to see if my original notes of February Stakes was still alive. Tomorrow is a national holiday so perhaps I can give it a try.

As for this weekend, we're having Nakayama Kinen and Hnkyu-hai. Hankyu-hai would be a step race for Takamatsu-no-miya Kinen. And yes, Tokyo races went by in a flash to be back in Nakayama already. This year's Nakayama Kinpai winner Hishi Iguazu and 3rd place winner Win Exceed will be running, as well as Kyoto Kinpai winner Cadence Call. And Babbitt, of course.

The End

Caterpillar

2/23  Disapponted with Myself

5:21 p.m. Finally. I've finally dug out my notes for February Stakes and now remember clearly, I've done the same sort of searching last year and put my notes in one folder, only to forget the very fact that I'd done so and which folder I'd put the files in... How many times do I have to make the same mistake to learn from it? I'm really disappointed with myself.

The folder that contained February Stakes notes was labeled "Read before G1". I can almost hear myself saying I'd definitely open this folder as February Stakes is the first G1 race of each year. Oh God, how stupid could I be?

The End

Caterpillar

2/24  Someteimes Amazed

5:37 p.m. Really, sometimes I'm amazed at how stupid I could be. I've been a fool many times before and it seems I can't stop being one. But life goes on and I will keep struggling as long as my time will allow. That's my life and I'm not going to scuttle asay from it.

Meanwhile, the news of Ojuchosan coming back has been delivered. The horse is aiming Nakayama Grand Jump as his come-back race. He's a great horse winning 7 G1s in steeplechase. 10 years old, his challenge continuing seeking for the 8th victory. The horse deserves high respect. Especially from a pathetic human like myself.

The End

Caterpillar

2/25  Thursday is Ending

7:13 p.m. have been pretty busy today and as I come to realize it, Thursday is ending though I haven't done any research for this weekend's races. Am not thinking of buying betting tickets this week, as the most favored win odds for both races Hankyu-hai and Nakayama Kinen do not meet the conditions I've set.

Besides, I'm tired and sleepy. Don't feel like checking up my notes again, it's already past 7. But if I must, here are some tips i've picked up from the brief scanning of the past resuts.

For Hankyu-hai, the track condition seem to affect the results. If the track condition is still firm and fast, it would be almost impossible for trailers to take over all the rest as such horses would need unrealistic spontaneous speed like finishing the last 3 furlongs in 32 seconds. Positions 12th or 13th from the leading horse at least would be necessary to finish within 3rd place plus considerable instantaneous speed. Nakayama Kinen, let's save it for tomorrow, huh?

The End

Caterpillar

2/26  Back to Nakayama

7:12 p.m. The barriers have been announced for both Hankyu-hai and Nakayama Kinen. Don't think there are advantages or disadvantages concerning the draw for Hankyu-hai. Perhaps Mikki Brillante, Gendrame or Trine might have had a good draw concerning barriers.

Now, back to the tips for Nakayama Kinen. The tendency for front runners doing well is even more clear for Nakayama Kinen and it seems hardly possible for horses positioned behind 11th from the top to finish within 3rd place. It's likely for this race to become monotonous with the distance being a mile and a furlong, as well as being run on a tight corner course like Nakayama. Therefore, horses like Babbitt, Win Exceed or Courageux Guerrier might suit the condition, rather than Hishi Iguazu or Caidence Call.

The End

Caterpillar

2/27  Accordingly

7:29 p.m. I wasn't gonna buy betting tickets this week but the win odds for Hishi Iguazu has changed and accordingly, I decided to join the bet for Nakayama Kinen.

The level of the race seems relatively lower compared to last year when there were big names like Lucky Lilac or Indy Champ and of course, my Win Bright. Perhaps the frail 4-year-olds might be able to handle this situation.

I will key Babbitt to give him one more chance. The race conditions seem to suit this horse, the rest is up to the rider. On the wheel would be Tosen Surya, Cadence Call, Hishi Iguazu, Sun Appleton, and Win Exceed.

The End

Caterpillar

2/28  Two Weeks in a Row

9:48 p.m. We invited Mr. N-jima to ask him some about the rennovation of our office and Sunday, my only day-off had been thus spent two weeks in a row. But well, it's a necessary procedure as we have absolutely no knowledge in that area.

While he was here, I began to have a hunch that Babbitt might take the lead and yet sink into 6th or 7th place and perhaps I should have keyed Win Exceed or Hishi Iguazu. And look what happened. Talking with Mr. N-jima gives me insight or a sudden breakthrough. as well as for Cow. We're suspecting the close of off-track betting for our loss last year.

The End

Caterpillar