2022/ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

1/01  Free Day

6:33 p.m. Happy New Year everyone!

It's been a free day in a while. A day without having to do anything. Well, not anything to be precise however, it's both a relief and a respite not having to do any cleaning, shopping, or work. Printing out the greeting cards belatedly though what difference does it make when they don't deliver them until the day after tomorrow? I've got a mor important mission to accomplish, Kinpai!

24 horses are entered in Nakayama (21 for Kyoto), though the maximum would be 18. Gratias and Simon Thermal are bound to scratch off while Ever Garden, Endymion, Sakura Toujours, Shamrock Hill, Forward Again, and Prima Vista are on the borderline. One of these six need to win the ballot to run the race. Personally, I'm wishing the best for Shamrock Hill.

The End


1/02  Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow

8:02 p.m. Writing messages on New Year greeting cards was far more exhausting than I'd imagined. It's something I've been doing every year as long as I can remeber, but it seems it's getting harder every year although I've written merely 20 or so cards.

Still, writing messages and sending them thinking of that person at least once a year I think, is something that makes your life (and the receiver's life) a bit more fulfilled. As Violet Evergarden says, there's no feeling that should be left unsaid without reaching.

Thus my Kinpai preparation has been put off for another day. Tomorrow. I'll do it tomorrow. Definitely, tomorrow.

The End


1/03  Diligently Working

7:15 p.m. Diligently working on the preparation for Kinpai as the entry has been closed. Looks like Shamrock Hill couldn't make it for Nakayama. Ever Garden has won the ballot and slipped in instead.

Am currently working on Nakayama, and have already found one horse that raises my expectation. So far so good. Must keep up my motivation and keep working. After all, I've been able to enjoy the year-beginning Ten-don for the first time in the past 2 years. Ten-don power.

Let me get back to work now. I want to finish it up before the barrier draw announced tomorrow.

The End


1/04  Reach Conclusion

7:48 p.m. As always, calling Kinpai was hard. Hard but thankfully, I've managed to reach conclusion.

For Nakayama, I'm putting my first bet this year on Red Lammert. Keying Red Lammert on a wheel of Matenro Leo, Lagulf, Feengrotten, Curren Leciel Bleu, and Win Kitos. I'm trying my luck on trio.

For Kyoto, am keying Pressage Lift on a wheel of Peace One Paradis, Al Satwa, Air Lolonois, Elusive Panther, and Entscheiden. Hope I could win. Happy Kinpai!

The End


1/05  A Good Year

6:56 p.m. Have won Kyoto Kinpai for the first time in a couple of decades. Looks like I have luck on my side. Hope it's going to be a good year.

As for Nakayama, that was a blunder. I didn't think Kurino Premium would perform that well after losing big in Queen Elizabth Cup however, I should have included her since Kurino Premium and Feengrotten were the only two horses that could break out from the inside without going up front.

Also, keying Red Lammert was my biggest mistake. I thought the horse could hang on since he goes up front, but that wasn't gonna happen, I learned that from Deep Bond, didn't I? Stupid me. Still the horse has done its best finishing in 6th place. I'm giving Curren Leciel Bleu a what for.

The End


1/06  Reluctant

7:54 p.m. I've had a lot of things to do today follwing an incident ocurred late last night, so am just starting though I'll have to finish this in a zap.

This weekend we're having Shinzan Kinen if my memory is correct. Pretty reluctant to call the race not because I don't want to lose after Kinpai, but rather because it's a 3-year-old race. I've realized that it's quite difficult to set the pace for a 3-year-old race let alone 2-year-olds'. These young horses have just started racing and sometimes could be uncontrollable. It's hard to guess which horse is going to take the lead and in what kind of lap.

Nevertheless, I braced up myself and pulled up the racing form for Shinzan Kinen and my jaw dropped. Only 7 horse running? With Light Quantum this favored? Erm, let me see.

The End


1/07  Without Much Interest

6:08 p.m. Looking at the racing form of Shinzan Kinen without much interest.

There seems to be several horses that go up front however, you can't trust them as they're still young horses. Supposing either Light Quantum or Kvasir took the lead, I guess it wouldn't be such a tight pace taking in account that it's also a small-field race. That adds up to another instantaneous speed contest.

All things considered, I'm (sadly) guessing it's going to be a race between Light Quantum, Toho Galleon, Kvasir and Pace Setting. Losing even more interest. Maybe I'll go for Fairy Stakes on Monday.

The End


1/08  Wow

8:02 p.m. Wow, I've called Shinzan Kinen right and that's two wins in a row this year. What's wrong with me? Well, well. It was a small-field race and assuming the payout to be quite small, I didn't buy betting tickets. Instead, I'm challenging tomorrow's Fairy Stakes.

My guess is that My Reine is going to take the lead, but couldn't pin down the pace as it might be affected by the horses that follow such as Hip Hop Soul, Dynato Selene, or Make a Snatch.

So am keying Hip Hop Soul on a wheel of Speed of Light, Dynato Selene, Energy Chime, Make a Snatch, and Divertision, trio. In case the pace gets tight, will also put some insurance on quinella keying Hip Hop Soul with Antano Ballad and Mississippi Tesoro.

The End


1/09  Don't Go That Easily

6:55 p.m. It didn't become 3 wins in a row. Well, things don't go that easily, I know. But as a matter of fact, I'd changed my quinella from Antano Ballad and Mississippi Tesoro to Iconostasis, Brown Wave and Kita Wing at the last minute, so perhaps it wasn't so far off the mark.

The pace has become tight as I'd feared which resulted in the victory of Kita Wing. It wasn't right to key Hip Hop Soul in a tight pace come to think of it, since it wouldn't make sense. Hip Hop Soul has performed well in the past two races which were both run in a small field in slow laps. Should have keyed either Speed of Light or Kita Wing in that case.

Shows how hard it is to predict the pace in a 3-year-old race. Maybe I'd go for older horses' race next time.

The End


1/10  That's Me

7:25 p.m. Who's that searching the down jacket pocket desperately for the left bluetooth earphone while still having it stuck in the left ear? Yeah, that's me. The hugry caterpillar has become old. Or is it just my attention problem?

Anyway, I was going to call older horses' races but then, that means I have to call Nikkei Shinshun-hai with lame entrees because Nakayama is having Keisei-hai, a classic trial for Satsuki-sho.

Wait. There's Aichi-hai on Saturday. Well, I got work on Saturday, so I'd rather go for Nikkei Shinshun-hai unless my preparation goes unexpectedly very smoothly.

The End


1/11  More Interesting

7:50 p.m. Looking at the entry form for Aichi-hai. Mmm... this certainly looks more interesting as well as entertaining than Nikkei Shinshun-hai.

There doesn't seem to be a front runner that apparently wants to take the lead. Can't tell the pace at this point yet however, if the pace lags it could be another instantaneous speed contest (especially on Chukyo). Besides it's a hndicapped race. Art House would surely be favored, but she might not win.

Not that I've given up on Nikkei Shinshun-hai completely, though. Maybe I'll go for both races if I have enough time to prepare. Why not? I've done that with Kinpai, perhaps I could do it again.

The End


1/12  Nawwww

6:51 p.m. Just starting to prepare for this weekend and the weather report says rain is expected around Chukyo on Saturday, huh. If it rains and the track gets soft, that would give Art House an advantage. Nawwww.

Well, since I've already started, let's keep going and see how things would turn out tomorrow. I could decide whether to buy or not buy later, but preparations are necessary in case I decide to buy. It seems the rain would stop, though before Sunday comes. Now that's giving me another difficult condition concerning Nikkei Shinshun-hai.

Might make a last minute decision this week and give them up all together. After all, they're only G3 and G2 races, not G1.

The End


1/13  Started Pondering

8:02 p.m. As the barrier draw for Aichi-hai (and Nikkei Shinshun-hai) has been released, I've started pondering Aichi-hai though realized it was quite difficult to call. I knew that. That's why it got me interested in the first place.

However, it was harder than I'd thought with the track condition unstable. The pace probably won't be that tight, I reckon. So it's going to be another instantaneous speed race. Yet I'm not sure of the track condition that I can't quite decide which horse to key.

My current situation is that I've narowed down to 6 horses but still haven't decided my key horse. The names of these six are Maria Elena, Art House, Bijin, Sainte Rose, Rouge Eveil, and Fiori Chiari. Maybe I'll skip it altogether depending on tomorrow's track condition and focus on Nikkei Shinhun-hai.

The End


1/14  Cut to the Point

5:48 p.m. Cutting right to the point, I didn't buy betting tickets for Aichi-hai. The race ran while I was in between work, though I thought I'd better be safe than sorry.

When I checked the track condition of Chukyo this morning, it said the turf was soft. At that point I thought that only front runners could perform well today which means that what I'd thought yesterday could be turned upside down. I had a feeling that Art House might perform better than Maria Elena on such track condition, but I just couldn't be sure so I decided to skip the race.

As for Nikkei Shinshun-hai tomorrow, the handicap is quite a nuissance. I ended up keying Yamanin Zest on a wheel of Weltreisende, Hayayakko, Verona City, Prima Vista, and King of Dragon.

The End


1/15  That Was Close!

6:50 p.m. Ouch! That was close! It couldn't be helped I guess, but if Yamanin Zest and Pradaria's position was the opposite...

What took me by surprise was that King of Dragon didn't take the lead and let African Gold go instead. The pace wouldn't have changed much however, it made a big difference in the results of the two horses. Admire the good strategy.

Prima Vista turned out to be disappointing though this also couldn't be helped as the horse couldn't go up front. I half expected that to happen. As for Verona City, I don't know why I picked this horse in the first place. He should have been avoided.

The End


1/16  Coooold

6:59 p.m. Feeling cold today, very coooold after the warm weather last weekend. And they say a record-level cold wave is coming up next week, brrrrrr.

Before that we're having AJCC in Nakayama and Tokai Stakes n Chukyo. 14 horses are entered for AJCC, including front runners like Shamrock Hill, North Bridge, or Babbitt. The odds-on favorite would be Gaia Force but there may be a chance for Epiphany, too.

As for Tokai Stakes, 17 horses are entered including the Chukyo dirt specialist Auvergne and Miyako Stakes' runner-up Hagino Alegrias, though my personal interest is locked on Promised Warrior. There's been an instant increase in pvs by the way. Thanks, I'll take that as a compliment.

The End


1/17  The Closest Challenger

7:17 p.m. Have started preparation for AJCC.

Surely, Gaia Force would play the main role bur which horse would be the closest challenger? It's a pretty tough question, don't you think? Yeah, Epiphany might be a good candidate, though there's always another horse, the third horse that pops up from nowhere and I'm wondering which one would that be?

The pace usually lags but the track seems to be power-consuming. It wouldn't be just a "ready, go!" kind of race from the last corner, although instantaneous speed would be also necessary.

The End


1/18  Daiwa Disappeared

7:01 p.m. Had to go out to pick up some books I'd ordered earlier, so haven't had time to check out anything today.

Came home to read the news that horses crowned with the name Daiwa has disappeared from JRA with the retirement of Daiwa Cagney.

Pity, really. Daiwa Major and Daiwa Scarlet were impressive siblings I could still name. Though personally, I've been attached to Daiwa Carleon and Daiwa Texas somehow. I tend to prefer supporting actors rather than the flashy main actors. I've also been in the care of Daiwa el Cielo when she won the Oaks. She's won me a trio with Sweep Tosho and Yamanin Alabaster. Thnaks for the good memory.

The End


1/19  Can't Think

7:12 p.m. So the entries are closed for the weekend races.

Looks like AJCC won't be run in such a tight pace though I can't be sure until the barriers are drawn. This means that instantaneous speed is a must however, a horse needs to have power and a good position in order to perform well. Horses that stay way behind has little chance.

Taking that in account, I can't think that Uberleben could perform well unless Mirco drives her up front, though that won't be easy especially when shortening the distance from Japan Cup. And yet she's the third favored although it's just in expected win odds. Perhaps because she's carrying lighter weight than others, but she hasn't performed well in either Sapporo Kinen or Japan Cup carrying the same weight. Maybe her condition is whispered to be real good, but you can never trust rumors, you know.

The End


1/20  Call It Exercise

7:09 p.m. Another day of going out though I tried my best to get back as soon as possible, so perhaps you could call it exercise rather than shopping. It was like jogging with intervals.

Okay, so the barrier draws are out. Hmm, I guess it would be Babbitt that'd take the lead, not Shamrock Hill. Then the pace would probably be slow or average at best, unless Yokoyama dad runs out of control. Instantaneous speed would be essential in that case as mentioned earlier, and chances will broaden for horses like Gaia Force, Epiphany, or even Studley, depending on the situation.

Haven't looked much into Tokai Stakes yet, so I might focus on AJCC. If I have enough time, I'll try both.

The End


1/21  Or Plan B

7:56 p.m. Getting straight to te point, I'm focusing on AJCC. I'm not going to bet on Tokai Stakes.

Sorry to disappoint you. I'm saying this first because I can almost hear sighs. Well, I thought as hard as I could but couldn't think of any better horse to key except Gaia Force. On the wheel would be Black Magic, Babbitt, Studley, Epiphany, and Lagom.

Yeah, the payout won't be much if it ends with say, Gaia Force, Epiphany and Babbit, so I think I'll make the best out of what time I have left until the race runs to come up with some trifectas. Or a plan B without keying Gaia Force.

The End


1/22  The Lesson Today

6:49 p.m. Having lost so far off the mark, I even feel fresh.

Babbitt didn't take the lead in the first place. It didn't matter that much as the pace turned out to be slow anyway. The problem was that Gaia Force didn't perform like he should. But then, that too should have been expected as he was shortening the distance from Kikka-sho which certainly couldn't have been an advantage in a slow pace race, unless he'd drawn an inner post. Yet I missed that point so it was a natural course for me to lose.

Meanwhile, Tokai Stakes has finished with the two horses I thought would do well in a brief scan of the racing form. The lesson today: do not bet on races that I have to dig in to find a horse to key. Rather, bet on the ones that I could find a horse to key at first sight.

The End


1/23  Opening Week

7:31 p.m. Rushing off to see the entry form for this weekend's races. It's the opening week for Tokyo where we're having Negishi Stakes, while Silkroad Stakes will be run at Chukyo.

Lemon Pop is entered in Negishi Stakes, so there's a good horse to key. He's been beaten by Gilded Mirror in Musashino Stakes last year, but I think Lemon Pop would have the advantage this time. As for Silkroad Stakes, I guess it would be a match between Win Marvel and Toshin Macau, though I also think it's too early to give up on Namura Clair yet.

My weight is on Negishi Stakes at this point however, will eventually have to prepare for both races because I can't decide until I see the barrier draw. Aw, have to get up early this week and work hard.

The End


1/24  Oyster Nabe

7:40 p.m. Tired. Had to go out again to go and get some oysters because stupid Cow wanted to have oyster nabe (oyster pot dish seasoned with miso). Can't blame him as it's getting real windy and cold. Weather forecasts have been threatening even the Tokyoites of record-setting coldness and snow.

Fortunately, though the weekend is said to go without rain or snow meaning that Negishi Stakes will be run on dry dirt. Hopefully, that'd be another advantage point for Lemon Pop.

Meanwhile, rain, sleet or snow may be expected around Chukyo Race Course. Chukyo turf has been relatively firm and fast since its opening with Kinpai, but the condition may differ depending on the weather.

The End


1/25  Just When

6:36 p.m. Just when I was feeling relieved about this weekend's weather, the forecast says we're having rain (or snow) on Friday!

Well, the dirt track would probably dry off by Sunday however, there may be a chance of JRA using antifreezing agent under this cold wave. When antifreezing agent is used, the dirt track tends to get sort of sticky and more power is consumed compared to the usual dry dirt track.

Lemom Pop is a powerful horse and he usually goes up front, so I guess I don't need to worry about that. There's the more concerning matter of Win Marvel having to carry 59kg, while Toshin Macau is carrying 58.5 and Kir Lord 58.0 in Silkroad Stakes. Isn't that too complicated? More reasons for me to choose Negishi Stakes rather than Silkroad Stakes.

The End