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2024/ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2/01  Oops

8:34 p.m. It turns out I had work today. Needless to say, I was uprepared despite my mad rush and hard work before the meeting with my client. But then, I couldn't help that since I wasn't let know of the meeting until last night. Have done what I could, the rest is up to the client.

Until around this time yesterday, I was thinking that I would have this evening free to myself since my client hadn't contacted. I've been planning to spend it to prepare for Tokyo Shinbun-hai, but now look what you've done. Will have to put it off till tomorrow evening, though will probably have something dfferent to take care of.

Took a quick look at last year's notes again gritting my teeth and realized I'd written "4-year-olds including mares, can be good candidates if the've performed well on Tokyo mile before." Oops. So it wasn't ONLY for 4-year-old mares. Will try to keep that in mind, 4-year-olds with high performance on Tokyo mile.

The End

Caterpillar

2/02  Task Done

8:08 p.m. Getting my task done typing away in the usual freezing room. Have finished typing in all the data I need for Tokyo Shinbun-hai while stupid Cow keeps rushing me, though he himself doesn't write or type at all.

The barrier draw has been released. I don't think the inner post was a good draw for Masked Diva unless the track gets soft with either rain or snow, which is unlikely to happen according to the forecast. Yes, there may be chances of snow but only for a short tme on Sunday.

Should be on the alert for the time record tomorrow. Also must check what type of horses are performing well. For the moment, my interest is on horses that ran in a G1 race previously and horses that ran Kyoto Kinpai as a step race, since Kyoto Kinpai I think, was a pretty tough race. This means that I should also be careful not to miss the horses that didn't perform well in lukewarm races.

The End

Caterpillar

2/03  Compliment Myself

9:15 p.m. Very tired having had to go out shopping twice with a meeting in between. I'd like to compliment myself on working diligently while stupid Cow is enthusiastically cheering our national football team fighting against Iran in Asia Cup. Not to mention I want to watch the game, too.

The forecast has been changing rapidly and I can't be sure of the turf condition tomorrow. Looks like it's going to rain a bit in the early morning, though not so heavily according to the latest forecast. Hopefully, the turf won't be soft. If it gets soft by the time of the race, my call would be wasted as the results would change.

I'd like to key Win Carnelian. Not just because he's brought me a win last year, but rather because the condition suits him. On the wheel would be Masked Diva, Umbrail, Matenro Sky, and Tudo de Bom.

The End

Caterpillar

2/04  Give Me a Break

8:35 p.m. Okay. So Win Carnelian was right. But who's Sakura Toujours? And Ho O Biscuits? Where's Masked Diva gone? The payout going over 600,000 Yen? Give me a break.

The first, second, third favored horses all performed poorly today staging the wild race. I understand Tokyo Shinbun-hai has the aspect of a step race regarding Victoria Mile or Yasuda Kinen, though this result for the top 3 favored finishing 6th, 12th and 9th place respectively, can't be called something to be proud of.

In fact, it's a pity that the best result among all seven of the 4-year-olds running this race was Ho O Biscuits' 3rd place. There may be a big question concerning the level of the 4-year-olds.

On the other hand, Rachel King's performance is remarkable. Winning AJCC with Chuck Nate, winning yesterday's main race at Tokyo, and then today winning Tokyo-Shinbun-hai. Hmmm, all her wins are with horses from Hori Stable, I see.

The End

Caterpillar

2/05  Discouraged

8:14 p.m. Wearing gloves, the usual five-fingered ones. It's much easier to type with them (and warm, of course) than my fingerless dragon scale gloves. I should be as it's snowing outside even in Tokyo while this room is not air-conditioned like all the other households. My iPad mini is plugged in for a charge upstairs, though I'm not sure if it's really charged considering the temperature. Still it's warmer up there.

Have pulled up my Kyoto Kinen file from last year's folder, but there wasn't any notes watsoever attached to it. I must have been so discouraged.

Looking at the past 10 years' results, it looks like the sires Heart's Cry or Stay Gold are doing well especially, when mixed with American blood lines like Bold Ruler or Storm Bird or Vice Regent, those blood lines that perform well on fast tracks. Unless, though the track gets soft when it requires more toughness.

Just click opened the entry form and I see only 12 horses entered. Discouraged, again.

The End

Caterpillar

2/06  Nuisance

8:36 p.m. Just like Negishi Stakes, it seems like horses that lost big in their previous races don't perform very well in Kyoto Kinen, unless their previous races were G1 races. Do Deuce, Loves Only You, Makahiki, Satono Crown all fall in this category.

This can also be said for horses that lost below 6th place in their previous races, except for Danburite who performed well in Kyoto Kinen twice. In 2019, he won Kyoto Kinen despite his 6th place loss in the previously run AJCC(G2). In 2021, he finished 3rd after a four-months break since finishing in 7th place in Kyoto Dai-shoten (also G2).

Therefore, the grade of previous races for horses that lost below 6th place should be at least G2 or preferrably G1, meaning they could lose big in higher level races.

Concerning the past 10 years, I can't find any high performing horses running in the 3-wins category previously, so I guess it would be better o pick my candidates from horses that previously ran a grade race.

Also, must be careful not to trust the results blindly for the last three years, as they were run on Hanshin, not Kyoto. This tiny little glitch is quite a nuisance.

The End

Caterpillar

2/07  Where to Start

8:01 p.m. Nonetheless, horses that have previously run in grade races all seem to have performed poorly and I'm not even sure where to start picking candidates for Kyoto Kinen. Adding to what I mentioned yeserday, it's hard to think 8-year-old horses like Jet Motion or Naimama suddenly sarting to perform well after all this time, let alone 9-year-old African Gold.

I think the light should be shed on younger horses. Take Bellagio Opera for example. He's fresh back from a two-months recess after winning Challenge Cup. I'm not sure if the furlong distance extension would do him good since he's lost in Satsuki-sho and D'erby in which both cases involved an extension in distance. Perhaps it's too risky to key Bellagio when he's the most favored?

Another horse that I think is too risky is the second favored Rouge Eveil. Yes, it's true I lost Queen Elizabeth Cup underestimating the horse, but this time she's really risky. Finishing 2nd in Queen Elizabeth Cup seems to me as her best performance and most horses can't get away from the damage after their best performances.

Sure, there were horses in the past 10 years that finished in the top 3 of Kyoto Kinen while running in Queen Elizabeth Cup previously like Chrono Genesis or Touching Speech. Though both horses had lost below 5th place in one of their lat two races before Kyoto Kinen, while Rouge Eveil has been finishing 2nd three races in a row since Epsom Cup. Piled up damage is what I'm afraid of.

The End

Caterpillar

2/08  Kyoto Turf

9:14 p.m. Just checked the forecast for Kyoto and it looks like there's no chance of rain this weekend. That's better. I mean, it gets hard to guess the track condition when it rains.

The turf condition of Kyoto seems to be changing slightly, though. Last week's results show that horses starting from outer posts are beginning to perform well. This suggests that turf on the inner course are getting damaged and as a result, the inner part of the course could be requiring more power.

Inner post starters that performed well last week either had performed well on soft track or had pedigree background to back up their stamina.

Will check and see the turf condition at JRA when they've uploaded the photo tomorrow. Also, will have to check the results of the few turf races run on Saturday actually, only four.

The End

Caterpillar

2/09  Taken the Trouble

8:01 p.m. So the barriers have been drawn with Babbit drawing the inner-most post number 1. I understand that the crew have tried to pep up the horse in a dirt race and I like that positive attitude. But I'm afraid it's going to be hard for the horse to win.

Having African Gold on the outmost post, there may be a chance that the pace won't drop to a sleepy slow. Still if it lags, it would be difficult for a trailer to take over from the outside.

I've taken the trouble to check the track condition at JRA though I haven't had the time to do any data typing. The average firmness of Kyoto turf measured using Clegg hammers was 9.3 on Friday, January 26th. Today it has changed to 8.9 meaning the turf is softening, though slightly.

The End

Caterpillar

2/10  Too Generous

9:06 p.m. It's been another busy week. I don't know why but somehow my days fly past while I'm coping with things to do. Have realized recently that one reason is that I've been too generous to people. Must have been wasting hours helping stupid Cow with this and that.

And it's not just stupid Cow barging into my schedule. I had to hurry to the library after work today to pick up a book I signed up online. The library has sent me a reminder though I couldn't remember at first since it was last year-end that I placed my order. I've been put on the waiting list for over two months, how am I supposed to remember the title when I can't even recall a particular horse's name right?

So despite the small-field, I had to take short-cuts to decide whichi horse to buy for Kyoto Kinen. Will key Ravel just to test my luck. Well, if I think Bellagio Opera's risky and Rouge Eveil as well, there won't be much left are there? Pradaria, Matenro Leo and the risky Bellagio and Rouge will be kept o the wheel.

The End

Caterpillar

2/11  As A Whole

8:19 p.m. I lost? Despite such a small-field race? While there were literally only half of the field that could have performed well? You can call mme a loser, sigh.

It was either Pradaria or Ravel and I chose the wrong one in hopes that Mirco would start slow and raise his position sweeping up the outside like usual. Perhaps Ravel might perform better in shorter distances like mile races, or even a 7 eighths mile.

The pace tightened slightly to become average thus, Babbitt hanging in for the 3rd place. Bellagio Opera has lowered performance though there was a significant gap between Babbitt. And Rouge Eveil has sunk in 8th place as feared. Let me look at the bright side and think it wasn't all that bad as a whole.

The End

Caterpillar

2/12  It's That Time

8:32 p.m. Hope I could win this week as February Stakes is running. Yes, it's that time already. The first G1 with the call of spring. My personal goal this year is to win Takamatsu-no Miya Kinen however, since I haven't won a race yet this year I definitely want to win this week.

From the pedigree background, Tokyo dirt mile is very friendly to horses having the Vice Regent line or the Storm Bird line in their blood. 19 horses (out of 30) having finished in top 3 in the past 10 years fell in this category. That's over 60%.

Wilson Tesoro probably would be favored, but can't be left out in that sense. Karate, Gaia Force, King's Sword, Sunrise Flame, Champagne Color, Sekifu, Tagano Beauty, Peisha Es, Perriere, Mick Fire, Red le Zele, the same. 12 horses will go on the candidate list.

The End

Caterpillar

2/13  Behind G1

6:20 p.m. Another one of my goals this year is to win a grade race that runs on a different track on the same day of a G1 race.

Because the fans who buy betting tickets on a G1 day tend to concentrate on the favored side of such grade races behind G1s, there's a chance to win big if you could call the race right. So I'm thinking of checking out Kokura Dai-shoten, too.

Am running out of time today, though as I have another zoom meeting. Will see if I can look into it tomorrow.

The End

Caterpillar

2/14  Mystery Solved

6:55 p.m. Before looking into Kokura Dai-shoten, there's something that's been nagging me for the past couple of days. As you already know, I mentioned that many of the high performers of February Stakes in the past 10 years had American blood backgrounds such as the Vice Regent line or the Storm Bird line. It seems they provide the speed to perform well on the long homestretch of Tokyo.

In fact, American blood that passes down power and speed is found in most of the high performers in the past 10 years, except for three horses Air Spinel, Yuranoto, and Belshazzar and I've been wondering what pushed these three horses up to the top 3, if not for the American background. So I've done some research.

The search revealed the three horses all had King Kamehameha as their father while their broodmare sire were either Sunday Silence or Fuji Kiseki. Hmm, doesn't that ring a bell? When it comes to performing well on the long homestretch of Tokyo, one of the first that comes to mind would be the combination of Kig Kamehameha and Sunday Silence.

Mystery solved, better get down to work. I've sacrificed my daily exercise to get my pending tasks done and go to sleep earlier tonight.

The End

Caterpillar

2/15  Chillax

8:23 p.m. Still in the middle of typing in data for February Stakes while the entry has been closed. 16 horses are running this year, though there is no outstanding horse to beat like Lemon Pop.

As I checked horses having American blood on either side sire or broodmare sire, most of the horses fell into this category as expected. Have just crossed out four horses that seem less promising on intuition. Might have to reconsider them tomorrow.

Ought to chillax. The barriers haven't even been drawn yet. Just because I feel rushed, it doesn't necessarily mean that I should rush off to things. Will give myself a good rest tonight so that my brain would work well tomorrow.

The End

Caterpillar

2/16  Pretty Tight

7:23 p.m. All right, so the result of the barrier draw is released.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Igniter
2Champagne Color
3Mick Fire
4Dura Erede
5Omega Guiness
6Karate
7Gaia Force
8Sekifu
9Peptide Nile
10Tagano Beauty
11King's Sword
12Speedy Kick
13Red le Zele
14Wilson Tesoro
15Don Frankie
16Alpha Mom

Looks like the pace could be pretty tight. This means that the trailers sweeping up the outside could reach the rop 3. Also if the pace gets tight, it could be a perfect stage for horses with American background.

The End

Caterpillar

2/17  Bring Me Back

8:58 p.m. Horses that have been running on turf entering dirt races seems to be the trend for the last couple of years. Perhaps it started from Sodashi? Anyway, there are three horses running Feberuary Stakes though they've been running on turf until recently, Champagne Color, Karate, and Gaia Force.

The problem is no one knows for sure whether these horses could perform well in this race until the race is finished, which makes it harder for us all to win February Stakes.

In my humble opinion, there aren't many horses that perform well on both turf and dirt especially, when it comes to a high level race like G1. In that sense Sodashi was exceptional although I don't like to admit that. Therefore, I'm not putting full trust on the aforementioned three horses.

I'm keying Mick Fire. If the track sand at Ohi has been replaced and the trend of Tokyo Daishoten has changed, I wouldn't be surprised about his loss since I bought Mick Fire thinking he would probably do well on Tokyo mile, which used to be the trend until 2022.

On the wheel would be Dura Erede, Omega Guiness, Gaia Force, Tagano Beauty, and King's Sword. Will give it another pondering, though. Hey, I'm counting on you Mick Fire. Bring me back my Daishoten loss.

The End

Caterpillar

2/18  More Simple

7:15 p.m. It's true I had difficulty coming up with a horse that might win and then Peptide Nile wins. After all, I should have thought things more simple and chose the horses that are good with tight paces.

Seeing how well Peptide Nile and Sekifu performed, it could be said that horses that performed well in dirt 1700m races in Hakodate or Sapporo can also do well on Tokyo dirt 1600m, provided that the pace gets tight. Dirt 1700m races in upper class tends to become monotonous, power races especially when they're run in a tight lap. Horses that did well in such condition can be assumed to do as well in a high-lapped, one turn Tokyo mile.

Should have thought about that. I also should have double checked horses that were shortening the distance as I thought the pce would be tight.

As for Mick Fire, he was encouraged by the rider all the way from the start just like he was in Tokyo Dai-shoten. I'm afraid the horse needs a break, some time away from the races. It's as though the horse is saying he doesn't want to run. I feel sorry for him.

The End

Caterpillar

2/19  How Dreadful!

8:28 p.m. Driven by things to do again. But well, at least I finished reviewing February Stakes. That should be something to be happy about since now I could move on to either Nakayama Kinen or Hankyu-hai.

It seems we're in for some early spring rain and there isn't a day this week that goes without an umbrella mark on the forecast, except for Saturday. The sad thing is that the temperature is expected to drop again meaning we would be thrown back into winter. How dreadful! After all the signs of spring, the warm air coming in!

And with the opening of this year's G1 races, Mr. N-jima's message attacks are back again. Okay. It's seasonal, fine, I understand. Guess I'll have to cope with that until year-end.

The End

Caterpillar

2/20  How Many Times?

7:32 p.m. Looking at the past results of Nakayama Kinen trying to figure out what it might be like this year.

Horses shortening their distances seem to be doing better than horses running in mile races previously. And perhaps because the pace rarely gets tight on Nakayama 1800m turf, most horses that performed well in this race have also performed well in their step races, finishing within 5th place.

Those that have lost big in their previous races were from G1 races meaning, that their previous race wasn't a simple step race.

Scanning through this year's entrees and I found the name of Hishi Iguazu. Oh no, he's running again? How many times does he want to win this race? He's 8 years old already and he's still not giving up I guess, since Hishi Iguazu is Hori Stable's horse and it looks like they've secured Rachel King as the rider.

The End

Caterpillar

2/21  Hishi Iguazu Again

8:25 p.m. So I'm looking at the list of horses entering Nakayama Kinen. What is this? I was just going to have a quick look at which horses have finished in the top 3 in their previous races and it turns out that there aren't any horse that has won or finished second in their previous races. What kind of lame conpetitors are they?

Have gone through the list twice but was only able to find two horses that finished 3rd in their previous race. Embarrassing, though that was the best I could find. And those two horses were Meiner Chrysola and Hishi Iguazu...

Great. It's Hishi Iguazu again.

The End

Caterpillar

2/22  Competent

8:04 p.m. Have worked hard today despite the drizzling and cold weather. We've been thrown back into winter after the twenty-over sring warmness. It seems to be a new type of torturing here in Tokyo until we're suddenly thrown into dead summer heat. Didn't we supposed to have four seasons? Where have spring and fall gone?

As the result of my hard working, I've already narrowed the candidates for Nakayama Kinen down to 7 horses, among which annoyingly Hishi Iguazu still remains. Well, you can't just leave out the 2-years-in-a-row defending champion just because he's annoying.

Have come to realize I was doing things in the wrong order again without recognizing it. Somehow I tend to start from the pedigree background when I'm not winning which possibly could be a reflection of my anxiety. So I rearranged the order of my tasks and now I only have 7 horses even before the barrier draw. Feeling like I'm competent, very.

The End

Caterpillar

2/23  Cross Out

7:35 p.m. Freezing cold outside. So cold that even thrifty Cow couldn't resist turning on the heater in this room, yay!

The barriers have been drawn and I think Nakayama Kinen won't be run in such a tight pace. My guess is that it will be run in a moderately average speed and it won't be an instantaneous speed contest considering we're talking about Nakayama 1800m.

I'm not sure what the track(turf) condition might be like at this point, but some horses surely would be advantaged if the track softens while the race would shift to more power-consuming, tedious flow without any last turn on foot zapping like a sword from the outside.

Having said that, now there's no reason to buy Sol Oriens as he'd probably stay behind. Let me cross him out.

The End

Caterpillar

2/24  The Forecast!

8:12 p.m. Sorry to keep you waiting guys, I had to check out the forecast. I took the trouble to check several different forecasting sites where they all said different things except for one. They all shared in common that it will rain tomorrow, but the amount of rainfall or the time rain starts falling were all different.

For all the turf races run today, JRA announced the track condition as good to firm. The rain that had been falling for the past couple of days has stopped by morning, though I assume the track didn't dry off completely in the low temperature. It's really hard to guess since it depends lagrgely on the amount of percipitation however, I'm guessing the track to be good to firm tomorrow, yielding at worst.

I was going to key this horse whether it drys or not but if the track is getting softer even for a wee bit, I find it reassuring to key Elton Barows. On the wheel would be Red Mon Reve, So Valiant, Hishi Iguazu (damn it!), and Matenro Sky.

I thought of keeping Sol Oriens on the third row because the horse is probably a master when it comes to soft tracks, but decided against it in the end as ungraceful.

The End

Caterpillar

2/25  Against Assumption

6:58 p.m. Against my assumption, Nakayama Kinen became a tight-lapped grueling match on good to firm track. Because Takezo riding T O Sirius didn't state leadership nor press at Dobune, Dobune was able to take initiative while keeping his rythm. Last year's 3rd place winner running undisturbed makes this year's 2nd place winner, humph.

Elton Barows seemed not ready for racing judging from his performance on the homestretch. It's possible that the horse makes an unblievable improvement in the races to follow. Perhaps So Valiant wasn't well prepared for the race either, gaining 22kg. It's a pity since the racing condition was perfect for the horse. Geoglyph was completely unmarked. I don't see how a horse performing so poorly for the past year can suddenly make a comeback. Will see if I can solve that mystery.

As for Sol Oriens, I'm afraid he's going to have a tough season if he can't make it to 3rd place under this condition. It will be hard to pick races as e has to carry weight. Why don't they try a runaway? It might, just might give the horse a boost?

The End

Caterpillar

2/26  Ocean Stakes or Yayoi-sho?

7:35 p.m. Spring trial races for the classics are starting. As a cosequence, I have little options this weekend.

The only grade race for older horses held this weekend is Ocean Stakes, a race that might beocme a key to winning Tkamatsu-no Miya Kinen just like Hankyu-hai held last week. But the problem is that Ocean Stakes is held on Saturday, my work day. I want to choose an older horses' race rather than the 3-year-olds' Yayoi-sho Sunday, though I'm not sure if I could buy betting tickets on Saturday while working.

Must think and mak up my mind, I know. Otherwise, I won't go a step further. So which should I take, Ocean Stakes or Yayoi-sho? Even before that, what should I turn to when making a decision like this? Which race brings more profit with less time spent?

Well, both races would probably take time to call in the same way regardless of the number of horses running. When it comes to the profitable part, it's likely to be Ocean Stakes. Okay, then Ocean Stakes it is. Will come up with a way to buy betting tickets somehow.

The End

Caterpillar

2/27  No Influencer

7:53 p.m. Right at work trying to figure out the trends of ocean Stakes from the past 10 years' results. Many of you might possibly know it's a repeater-friendly grade race, so am trying to dig up something else.

Since it's a sprint grade race, I figured it would be better to perform well in recent races. But then, there were many horse actually, that hadn't finished in top 3 in their previous 2 races. If either of the two races had been G1, that'd be plausible as the race level is much higher than the G3 class.

What about the horses that didn't perform well in their past two races with neither of them being G1? Might have found something in common yes, but I don't thnk I could explain it well in words.

Well, you'll know which horse I'm going to buy on Friday, anyway. Besides, no one would probaly give a damn about which horse I'm buying. I'm no influencer that makes the headlines.

The End

Caterpillar

2/28  Shaky

7:28 p.m. Looking at the list of entry for Ocean Stakes. Hmm, naturally, either Toshin Macau or Big Caesar would be the most favored, I assume. The question is whether they'd do well or not.

Toshin Macau looks pretty shaky. He's won Keihan-hai(G3) in his previous race after deceiving the odds and losing in 9th place in MBS Swan Stakes. This could set a flag. I mean, the horse has won previously by shortening the distance and taking position behind that could have been too much of a strain and it could backfire in the form of damage in the next race.

In fact, Toshin Macau has lost in a similar situation about a year ago. Better watch out.

As for Big Caesar, I simply don't evaluate him to win a G3, at least not yet. Both horses, though perform well on firm, fast track and possibly, on good to firm. If conditons permit, perhaps I should keep Macau on the wheel.

The End

Caterpillar

2/29  Wish Me Luck

8:31 p.m. Work popped up from nowhere and had to work late. The entry has been long closed with 16 horses running for Ocean Stakes. Haven't seen, even taken a peek on Yayoi-sho as I've been busy all day.

The only thing good about working late is that the working space is warmer than usual, thanks to the heating, humph.

It started raining in the evening though the forecast says the rain will stop by tomorrow morning, so hopefully I wouldn't have to worry about soft track for Saturday unless it pours while I'm asleep.

Haven't had much progress today due to unexpected work and I'm pressed. Will do my best so I can announce my call tomorrow. Wish me luck, folks.

The End

Caterpillar