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2/01  Another Day

8:06 p.m. Resultingly, another day has passed without having time to look into the weekend's races... My dentist told me I must be stressed as my oral condition appears so. Well, he got that right.

Have just read the news of Ushba Tesoro winning Kawasaki Kinen, T O Keynes probably the most favored finishig 2nd. Looks like the performance of T O Keynes is declining. At any rate, Kawaski Kinen with just 10 horses is a bit disappointing.

Meanwhile Jack d'Or has been announced to enter Osaka-hai. I'm sorry to hear that they never seem to learn. Why do they keep racing him in ONLY 2000m? Is there some sort of a curse on the horse? Anyway, that means he's going to race against Titleholder, and they are both front tunners. Maybe I'll try to find a horse that could take them over from behind for Osaka-hai.

The End


2/02  At Last

6:52 p.m. At last I'm looking at the racing form for Tokyo Shinbun-hai on the day the entry has been closed. Oh, well. And have also decided to buy this raace instead of Kisaragi-sho because I think I can rely on Namur.

Perhaps the 56kg weight she's carrying is a bit too overestimated however, if you look at it from the other side, it probably means she's been evaluated as promising by the handicappers.

Will still have to wait till the barrier draw but the pace might not get so tight since Shonan Magma is the only horse that might take the lead. And if the pace lags, it would become the usual instantaneous speed contest which would be all the better for horses like Namur, Justin Cafe, or Pin High. The remaining problems are the track and horse's condition.

The End


2/03  Harder

6:59 p.m. But then, another day of unexpected accidents. Mama Cow has had a tumbling during bath time and she hasn't been looking real good since then. Troubling. Might have to call for a doctor depending on her state.

While I've been attending her and dutifully working on my house chores at the same time (darn, I still had dinner to cook, it's my turn), the barriers for Tokyo Shinbun-hai has been drawn. And Namur draws an outer post...

It doesn't look like the pace is going to be tight as I mentioned earlier, which means it would be harder for Namur to take over all the others from the outside carrying 56kg. For a female horse, 56kg is said to be equivalent to 58kg for a male horse. See? That doesn't sound that easy.

The End


2/04  Stay Awake

9:03 p.m. I've had a lot of work to do today follwoing yesterday. I'm also sleep-deprived and having a hard time trying to stay awake.

Since Namur has drawn an outer post, my plan has been thrown back to square one and I'm not sure which horse to key though I'm thinking it could be either Namur or Pin High. But then, I've been taught a lesson earlier not to buy races that I have trouble finding which horse to key.

So I might not buy betting tickets this weekend if I practice what I've learned. However, I don't think I'm in a state to make decisions now, so will sleep on it till tomorrow. For your information, currently the horses surviving on my list are Justin Cafe, Pin High, Peace One Paradis, and Namur. Maybe add Sakura Toujours?

The End


2/05  Win Carnelian

6:44 p.m. Still a bit sleepy but feeling much better than the same time yesterday.

As I had many things to catch up with, I tried not to think about the race until 20 minutes before Tokyo Shinbun-hai. I already feared the outer post (and the distande reduction ) would disadvantage Namur so started to review inner post drawers though I knew there wasn't much I could do in 20 minutes.

Then my eyes stopped on Win Caenelian. He's lost big in his previous race Mile Championship however, his competitors will definitely downgrade compared to a G1 race. So I dismissed the idea of not bettig and instead decided to bet on place for Win Carnelian, Pin High and Namur. It worked well. Well done, me.

The End


2/06  A Bit Regretful

7:14 p.m. Messages came in from Mr. N-jima boasting he has won trifecta and exacta for Tokyo Shinbun-hai. Feeling a bit regretful about my place that perhaps I should have bought win instead.

It's Kyodo Tsuhin-hai at Tokyo and Kyoto Kinen at Hanshin this week. As it has become my rule to skip 3-year-old races, I think I'll go for Kyoto Kinen though I haven't looked into it yet. Kyodo Tsushin-hai doesn't look like it's going to run in tight pace, so maybe it will be another instantaneous speed contest, but Danon the Tiger seems too favored to my eyes.

As for Kyoto Kinen, Do Deuce and Efforia are expected to be favored, though I'm not thinking either of them could perform well. A chance of rain is expected for Hanshin this weekend, so it might become a good chance to win big if I could call it right.

The End


2/07  Can't Stop Thinking

7:25 p.m. Even in Tokyo. Snow is expected in early hours of Friday morning, turning to rain and staying for the day. A chance of partial rain is also expected on Saturday, which summed up suggests a possibility of soft track condition for Kyodo Tsushin-hai.

As mentioned earlier, I'm not intending to bet on this race. However, I just can't stop thinking when I see racing forms to realize there will be horses running. IMHO, front runners will have the advantage compared to horses that stay in the back, such as Touch Wood or Tastiera. I have a hunch Tastiera is hopeful even on soft track.

Now, about Kyoto Kinen. Here, too the advantage is on the front-runners' side since it's Hanshin 2200m. Currently I'm interested in Unicorn Lion and even African Gold, depending on the barrier they draw. Maaaybee Matenro Leo and Win mighty, too also depending on the barrier they draw.

The End


2/08  Possibility Rising

3:16 p.m. The possibility for Tokyo track getting soft is rising. The noon weatherforecast showed Friday Tokyo mostly blotted out with white except for the Tokyo bayside. High possibility JRA is going to use anti-freezng agent, so the turf could suddenly become power-consuming. Meaning, more chances for powerful front-runners.

Not sure about the situation of Hanshin, though. Better be on alert but I have to prepare my income tax report. Made an appointment with an accountant tomorrow and I need to get things ready by then. Had to go out to get some documents for the tax report. I shall be very angry if they arrive by mail next week. I mean, what year are we living in? The fact that we need paper documents to file in tax reports in this country is totally out of the question. No wonder we're left behind, way behind in technology, humph.

Meanwhile, Gilded Mirror has been announced to retire due to a traspired fracture which sratched her off from February Stakes. Poor thing. Lemon Pop has enterd instead, thouhg I doubt his performance.

The End


2/09  Square One

6:47 p.m. Have been out all day and just got back. Turns out that my tax report needs more documents and I'm back to square one. Have to start allover again from making an appointment with the tax office, darn.

The forecast doesn't look like it's changed drastically, and snow is expected in Hanshin too. Although it's said to turn to rain later, the rain doesn't seem to stop until Friday evening. Sunshine is expected on Saturday but races wll be run and the turf could be a bit damaged, so I should wait and see what the condition may be like after Saturday's races are over.

The entries have been closed for the weekend and here too there hasn't been many changes. The thought of being driven by preparing for both Kyoto Kinen and my tax report in addition to work over the weekend is dreadful.

The End


2/10  Did Snow

7:03 p.m. The results of the barrier draw is out now and I'm guessing Kyoto Kinen would be run in an average to slow pace this year, although I'm not sure which horse would take the lead African Gold, or Unicorn Lion.

It did snow in many parts of Tokyo though I think it's mostly turned to rain by now. Either snow or rain, it's freezing brrrrrr.

Am also not sure about the track condition yet until I check the racing reults of the opening week of Hanshin tomorrow, but it's likely that the inner posts and front runners get the advantage. Looking back on last year's Hanshin, that was the trend except for the time when the rain-softened inner course got damaged as in Queen Elizabeth Cup.

The End


2/11  No Wonder

7:37 p.m. After responding to Mr. N-jima's lamentful message on today's Rakuyo Stakes and Queen Cup, I got myself ready for the afternoon meeting with my regular client. But my client didn't show up. Oh, damn. No wonder. Today was a national holiday. I've messaged the old guy I was gonna call tomorrow's race after I finished work! Man, am I okay?

Went out for a walk to cheer myself up so as to start calling with a cool head. It worked, I was able to look at the racing form with a refreshed mind and reached conclusion to key Killer Ability. On the wheel would be Matenro Leo, Win Mighty, and King of Dragon. As you can see, I'm not trusting either Do Deuce nor Efforia.

Might also go for trifectas keying Matenro for first place. Perhaps I could also key Win Mighty on the third as she might have reserved the seat.

The End


2/12  Dreadful Tax Report

7:02 p.m. Guess I wasn't so far off the mark except for Do Deuce. Well, it turns out the horse had a bit more energy left. But I really think he could break down soon. It might not have been this time since Do Deuce was blessed with some conditions in which he excels in. However, the risk is getting bigger especially after he's won with a gap not so small. If he meets a tough condition in his next race, that could be the beginning of the end of his success.

Matenro Leo has run up to my expectation, I'm msatisfied with that. Though I overestimated Win Mighty and Killer Ability. As for Pradaria, it was my bad since he had a chance for third place.

Will have to start on my dreadful tax report now while thinking about February Stakes without Gilded Mirror, tsk.

The End


2/13  Only for Now

7:01 p.m. Preparing for filing my tax report. Had to search for an invoice which has eaten up a lot of my time since last week. Eventually, I decided to file my report without it as I learned that I could request for correction later.

Have just sit down to check the news and JRA says they're going to start free live viewing for all races. The test service seems to start from February 25th. Great, in other words about time.

Would like to start preparing for February Stakes as Lemon Pop, Shirl's Speight and Dry Stout have been dancing in my head, but the tax report should be prioritized. After all it's only for now. Let's get it over and be released from this frustration.

The End


2/14  Tough Day

6:30 p.m. Both exhausted and sleepy after a tough day. Had to meet an acccountant to figure things out. After that I had the big event of picking up Mama Cow from the hospital to bring her home. She's been hospitalized for a while.

Came home to the news of Efforia's shocking retirement. It wasn't shocking to me but well, to some people it must have been. Epiphaneia descendants tend to fly low in their performances once their concentrated period is over. Say, Aristoteles, Daring Tact, Circle of Life, you name it. Efforia wasn't an exception, I reckon.

Thankfully, all my questions for the tax report is now answered so I can file it hopefully, by the end of the week. No need to rush as I still have a month to go before the deadline, but I would be relieved if it's finished earlier. Besides, I want to finish it asap so I could focus on this year's first G1.

The End


2/15  T M South Dan

7:03 p.m. Nothing new since the breaking news of Efforia's retirement. My tasks haven't moved on a bit either due to the changes made in my lifestyle. Well, I'll get used to it.

So the only topic I could think of is about Christophe coming down to Miho Training Center to make it for the workout of T M South Dan, and that it seems to have went well. T M South Dan is a runner-up from last year's February Stakes so Tokyo course could be his specialty. However, the mile distance seems slightly too long for the horse to my eyes. He shares that point with Lemon Pop. I think his main field is Tokyo dirt 1400m.

Additionally, T M South Dan has lost quite big in his previous race Negishi Stakes and I don't think he could recover from such a big loss in just two weeks.

The End


2/16  16 Horses This Year

7:17 p.m. The entry has been closed for February Stakes (as well as all the other weekend races) and there will be 16 horses running this year.

Mr. N-jima already seems to have made up his mind not just for February Stakes but for Kyoto Hinba Stakes and Diamond Stakes held Saturday, and Yammato Stakes, Kokura Dai-shoten, even Mukogawa Stakes on Sunday, while I haven't looked into February Stakes yet. He's keen on winning, that's for sure. Well, the guy's already retired and has all the free time he wants to spend on races, whereas I'm having even less time since Mama Cow needs more care giving now.

For your information, Mr. N-jima seems to be buying trifectas fixing Lemon Pop on the first, Dry Stout, Shirl's Speight and Meisho Hario on the second, with the same three horses plus three more on the third. He's additionally going to buy exactas wit Lemon Pop, Shirl's Speight fixed on the first. Besides those, he seems to be making his final decision after the barrier draw has been announced. Mostly agree with him at this point.

The End


2/17  Average Lap

7:02 p.m. The barrier draw for February Stakes has been released!

Post NumberHorse Name
1Jasper Prince
2Shirl's Speight
4Dry Stout
6Meisho Hario
7Lemon Pop
8Admire Lupus
9Shonan Nadeshiko
10T M South Dan
11Soliste Thunder
13Speedy Kick
15Red le Zele
16Keiai Turquoise

If Shounan Nadeshiko takes the lead without other contenders, the pace would probaly settle on an average lap. But then, the forecast has suddenly announced there may be some rain Sunday morning. Perhaps I should consider about horses that have won on turf before. Mr. N-jima seems to think Auvergne might have a chance since it's going to be Yuhichi Fukunaga's last G1 before his retirement. Just for your reference.

The End


2/18  Non-Stop

8:58 p.m. Have been working non-stop from noon to now and still working. Haven't made my final decision yet, though reached a temporal conclusion taking in account that the dirt course could be wet tomorrow.

My call mostly overlaps with Mr. N-jima's (and that's why I think reconsideration is necessary), and keys Lemon Pop. However, I do tink there's a risk since there's a chance the pace could get tight although very rare. If and when the pace gets tight, I'm not sure if Lemon Pop could do well.

On the wheel would be Shirl's Speight, Dry Stout, Auvergne (just in case), Meisho Hario and Shonan Nadeshiko. Though personally I don't think Auvergne would be given a chance. Now if you'd excuse me, I needd to go to the bathroom.

The End


2/19  What's Got Into Me?

6:48 p.m. About half past noon, I checked the results of Tokyo's 5th race to find that outer post starters have made a one-two finish. It's been concerning me since yesterday that outer post starters were doing well while my candidates for February Stakes were all inner post starters. I was also concerened yesterday, that Lemon Pop might not do well if the pace became tight, but I dismissed that idea. The horse has already performed highly in such situation (Negishi Stakes). Guess I was worrying too much, though taht couldn't be blamed as I was very tired and sleepy.

I checked out the pedigree of today's high performers and made a decision to include a horse starting from an outer post and could perform well on turf. Resultingly, I deleted Shonan Nadeshiko and replaced her with Red le Zele which rewarded me with a trio win.

Gosh, can't believe I'm doing so well especially after the successions of losses last year. Have won five races out of nine since the turn of the year. Besides, February Stakes wasn't a race I excell in. I wonder what's got into me?

The End


2/20  Quite a Lineup

7:11 p.m. Haven't finished up my review for February Stakes yet, but time is ticking away and we're having Nakayama Kinen this week. Care giving takes a lot of time, you see.

Have just pulled up the entry form on the diaplay and was surprised to see the names of the entrees. Schnell Meister, Stunning Rose, So valiant, Danon the Kid, wow, quite a lineup isn't it? I almost mistook it for Sapporo Kinen or the legendary Mainichi Ohkan, when Silence Suzuka, Grass Wonder and El Condor Pasa raced against each other.

Looks like there are several front runners entered among the 15 competitors, the pace could become tight depending on the barrier draw. Though I think Stunning Rose has an advantage of carrying weight, and it would grow if the track softens. The remaining problem now is whether I could squeeze out enough time to prepare for the race.

The End


2/21  Important Step

6:58 p.m. Meanwhile Hankyu-hai, a step race for the coming Takamatsu-no Miya Kinen will be run on Hanshin turf. If my memory is correct, the current turf condition was quite firm and fast. Let me check. Hmmm, as I thought.

Hankyu-hai is an important step considering Miya Kinen since eight horses running Hankyu-hai in their previous races have made it to the top three in Miya Kinen for the past 10 years.

Grenadier Guards seems to be the most favored in expected win odds, though I'm being suspicious about that. Rather, I'm curious how Daddy's Vivid, Ho O Amazon, or Le Plus Fort might perform.

The End


2/22  Seeking Possibilities

7:53 p.m. Back to seeking the possibilities for Nakayama Kinen.

The NHK Mile Cup champion Schnell Meister who should be more favored is currently accepting the humiliation of the fifth favored in expected win odds. Well possibly, this could be because the horse is entering Dubai Turf, and that running Nakayama Kinen is thought to be just a prep before the big race. That makes sense.

Whereas the crew of Danon the Kid mentioned there might be a chance to enter Dubai Turf depending on the results of Nakayama Kinen. That means they're not using Nakayama Kinen as a prep race, but actually not sure about the horse's condition. What I can tell is that I should't trust either of them.

The End


2/23  To My Eyes

2:40 p.m. The entry has been closed for the weekend races, and Stunning Rose still seems to have the advantage against others to my eyes.

Female horses haven't been winning this race since Nuovo Record (2015), but there's been runner-ups threee times in the past 10 years. Aerolithe has finished 2nd in 2018, while Lucky Lilac has finished 2nd twice in 2019 and 2020. That's quite recent for me. As a matter of fact, I think I keyed Lucky Lilac in 2020 though I probably didn't buy Danon Kingly. Possibly, Soul Stirling either.

Since Stunning Rose has lost big in her previous race, although that couldn't be helped as it was run after winning Shuka-sho, it may be difficult for her to win. Especially, with the rider changing while having a powerful competitor.

The End


2/24  After All

8:58 p.m. After all the struggles and visits to the tax office, I have finally filed my tax report. While I've been coping with it the barries have been drawn for the weekend races.

Looking at Nakayama Kinen. Not sure which horse scratched off but 14 horses have made it to the race and I'm assuming the pace won't get tight. Average pace at best. Whether it's Shonan Magma that takes the lead or Dobune, they won't go the first half in a tight lap.

That said, front runners on the outside will have the advantage whereas trailers with instantaneous speed would be better to start from inner posts.

The End


2/25  All Along

8:04 p.m. As usual, I didn't have much time but did the best I can with calling Nakayama Kinen to reach conclusion.

I've been saying all along that Stunning Rose seems to have a better chance and my opinion hasn't changed. I'm keying Stunning Rose though I'm not sure if she could win. And since there are only 14 horses running, there were only 4 horses left besides Stunning Rose after I crossed out the horses with less chances.

The four remained horses I'm gonna put on the wheel would be Danon the Kid, So Variant, Hishi Iguaz, and Lagulf. Might as well reconsider about buying trio. Perhaps exactas or trifectas would be better.

The End


2/26  Come to Think of It

6:49 p.m. Should have keyed Dobune instead of Stunning Rose. I thought Stunning Rose would have a better chance since there were other horses that might have taken the lead besides Dobune. Come to think of it, though it wasn't easy for Stunning Rose to recover her performance from 14th place.

Or I could have at least bought some win because I thought either Danon the Kid, So Variant or Hishi Iguaz would be the winner. Unfortunately, it seems Hayato Yoshida couldn't do as well as his older brother who has won Saudi Cup wit the prize amounting to 10 million dollars.

On the other hand, two horses of my interest Daddy's Vivid and Ho O Amazon has finished 2nd and 3rd in Hankyu-hai, while Grenadier Guards has lost in 7th place. Think I'm on the right track although not winning consecutively.

The End


2/27  Grudgingly

6:59 p.m. I've been avoiding 3-year-olds' races from difficulty of setting the pace, but this weekend there are sadly no grade races for older horses on Sunday. Ocean Stakes in which I'm interested will be held on Saturday while I'm stuck with work. It's definitely going to be an important race when considering Takamatsu-no Miya Kinen, but I can't watch it. Humph.

Grudgingly, I pulled up on the sccreen the entry form for Yayoi-sho, a step race for Satsuki-sho and there are only 12 horses entered. The authority of Yayoi-sho has now crumbled to pieces.

top Knife seems to be the most favored in expected win odds today since he has finished 2nd in Hopeful Stakes, though I can't put full trust on this horse when he hasn't had the boost he showed in Hagi Stakes in his previous two races.

The End


2/28  Fatigued

6:48 p.m. What I think is concerning regarding Top Knife entered in Yayoi-sho, is that the horse has already run 7 races including his previous race Hopeful Stakes which was a G1. Added to this, the distance of these races were all longer than 1800m.

What I fear is Top Knife could be fatigued. Young horses having just started their racing career are still developing and grwoing around this time of their first year. And for such horses, 2000m races absorb a lot of energy that it sometimes leaves big damage.

I've seen many horses that couldn't make it to Satsuki-sho from leftover damage before. Hope Top Knife won't join that list.

The End