4/01  Perfectly Understandable

9:01 p.m. Looks like we're bound to have rain on and off throughout this week. It's as though the rainy season has set in early. The weekly forecast expects rain on Sunday at Hanshin Race Course, where Ohkasho runs, which is concerning.

I've started my research for Ohkasho and found that all the horses that performed well in this race have finished above third place in either of their recent two races. No surprise, there. Since many races for young female horses are relatively short in distances, it's better to finish in higher places on the bulletin board to perform well again in their following races.

When horses run a race, they feel tired both mentally and physically. However, the physical damage will be less if the distance is short. For example, long-distance races such as 2400 meters do more physical damage than sprint races. So it's perfectly understandable that high-performers in Ohkasho have also performed well in their recent races.

The End


4/02  Mental Damage

8:58 p.m. I talked about physical damage yesterday, so I'd like to say a few words on mental damage today.

When do we feel stress, by the way? Let's say you need to make a presentation this weekend. You list up the things you need to do, brainstorm, and choose the right topic, write the draft, prepare the slides. Then you start rehearsing but you're running out of time. Still, you don't want to lower the quality of your presentation, so you work hard on it. Finally, on the day of your presentation, pressure is at its peak. You have butterflies in your stomach. After an hour, though your presentation is successfully over, your boss is very much satisfied, and you let out a sigh of relief. This is how we get stressed, in other words, exposed to mental damage.

As for racehorses, the presentation is replaced by races, and they feel stressed whenever they have strained to perform their best. Resultingly, horses lose in races when they haven't recovered from the mental damage caused by their most recent high performances.

If I applied this rule, it would be easy to explain why Hanshin Juvenile Fillies winners predominantly sink below 4th place in Ohkasho, when they've also performed well in their prep race between the two.

The End


4/03  Be Patient

8:36 p.m. Following the concept of physical and mental damage, which I mentioned over the past couple of days, I can already spot some horses that I could take off the list. With currently 27 horses entered, deleting the horses with little chance at an early stage would make a good start.

There is something I realized last year, by the way, about high-performing 3-year-old horses. Many horses that finished above third place in the spring classic races were from Northern Farm, the "king of breeding."

You might even think of excluding horses bred elsewhere, but wait. No good comes from acting in haste, I've learned by now. Indeed in 2022, horses from breeding farms other than Northern Farm dominated the top three of Ohkasho. Avoiding the horses from breeding farms other than Northern Farm at this early stage can be critical.

Besides, there's only one more day before the entry closes. Then, the number of horses will automatically be cut down to sixteen. What is there to risk? No, I shouldn't move right now, not just yet. Be patient, me.

The End


4/04  In my View

8:33 p.m. Since Ohkasho is one of the classic races limited to 3-year-olds, the result of the barrier draw has been announced today. Hm, 18 horses? I thought Ohkasho traditioally ran with 16 horses. Oh, well.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Wide Latour
2Queen's Walk
5Chicago Sting
6Hawaiian Tiare
7Sweep Feet
8Corazon Beat
9Ascoli Piceno
10Sekitoba East
11Light Back
14Shonan Manuela
15Etes Vous Prets
16Cecilie Plage
17Mask All Win

In my view, there seems to be no apparent advantages or disadvantages that stand out concerning the barrier draw, except for Cervinia. Starting from the outmost post of 18 horses and performing well in a G1 at the same time is not an easy task. Additionally, Cervinia's main rider Christophe has been met with an accident in Dubai, therefore has been replaced by Bauyrzhan Murzabayev. It will be a big challenge for both the horse and the rider.

The End


4/05  Since Last Year

9:30 p.m. Got up late today and everything had to be done in a mad rush. Have just barely finished correcting a document for work and sent it on its way.

Data input for Ohkasho was almost untouched, so I typed in the least necessary data as best as I could. Hopefully, I could do the rest tomorrow after work.

Sorry for those who might have been waiting for new information, but I have to go now. No need to worry, though. I already decided which horse to key. To be honest, I had her in mind since last year.

The End


4/06  Stuck at the Computer

9:30 p.m. I got off work around 6 p.m. (there were some left-over work to be honest, but I called it a day) rushed down to the supermarket to do the shopping, and have been stuck at the computer since I came back.

What I meant to say is that I worked hard, believe me, I did. Somehow, though I ended up with the favored side, depite my vain attempt to dig out longshots.

I keyed Ascoli Piceno with confident. Now, that's rare, very rare for me to have confidence in my choice. I wasn't quite sure before seeing her race in Hanshin Juvenile Fillies, but decided after the race that this horse was going to be the key for Ohkasho, if she made it to the spring classic without incident.

On the wheel would be Queen's Walk, Corazon Beat, Light Back, Stellenbosch, and Cervinia. See, I told you my call was on the favored side.

Might think it over, though. I feel like I haven't struggled enough to squeeze in a longshot.

The End


4/07  Only for a Wee Bit

8:05 p.m. To cut a long story short, I didn't change my decision. I did think of the possibility for a long shot, to be honest, but I was too tired to think straight. Nothing comes from a worn-out brain, so I drove everything out of my head and went to bed.

I felt groggy when I got up today, and although I didn't feel quite right about my bets, I thought it was best to trust what the sharp me had decided earlier. And since I wasn't sure which horse would come second, the trio would be the better choice in this case, even if the payout was expected to be small.

Thanks to Ryusei, I won the trio. It does look like a win stepping on eggshells because Sweep Feet finished in fourth place behind Light Back, though I had good reasons to exclude her from my bets. Of course, it would have been better if Ascoli Piceno had been the first to hit the wire instead of Stellenbosch since I had the exacta, but well, you couldn't blame the horse when Stellenbosch followed her close at her heels.

Anyway, my hard work has been rewarded, if only for a wee bit.

The End


4/08  Step Race

7:44 p.m. Mr. N-jima says he's coming over this weekend to watch Satsukisho at our place. That means I have to get everything done earlier than usual since I have to entertain my mentor while he is here. Yet I found myself fiddling with reading Yahoo! News. No, no! What am I doing? I need to get moving!

I've dug out my notes from the 2022 Satsukisho, but there are too many descriptions to share here. When I call the spring classic races, I put weight on which step race each horse has run before the target race and how.

Step races sometimes can be a chance to learn about horses' aptitudes. For example, a win in Yayoisho can suggest the horse has a strong aptitude for Nakayama turf 2000 meters. This is because both Yayoisho and Satsukisho are run on the same course and distance. If a horse with a proven aptitude for Nakayama turf 2000 meters enters Satsukisho, one can guess that this horse might also perform well in Satsukisho assuming that the horse hasn't suffered any physical or mental damage from Yayoisho.

While step races offer valuable insights into a horse's aptitude, the winning strategy plays a significant role. If a horse wins the Yayoisho by pushing itself to its absolute limit or even beyond, it's likely to suffer physical and mental strain. This can negatively impact performance in subsequent races, especially if the conditions are similar. Horses that exert themselves excessively in the Yayoisho are less likely to achieve high placements in the Satsuki Sho.

I've triedd using Gemini to imrove my writing today. What a refined passage this is! Perhaps Gemini might be a good choice for my parapharasing practice or increasing vocabulary.

The End


4/09  Going as Planned

8:33 p.m. So far, things are going as I planned.

I've finished typing in all the necessary data this afternoon, so I could move on to the next step, which is to cross out the horses with less possibility of finishing in the top three of Satsukisho.

In the past couple of days, I've read several articles saying the results of Satsukisho rely largely on the track condition. It seems to be a common theory that horses sweeping up the outside will have the advantage if the inner part of the turf course is damaged, or requires power.

I'm not completely against it, but the track condition or the turf bias is only one aspect of the factors comprising the race results, in my view. I should check out the recent track condition and race results, though.

The End


4/10  Not Much Use

7:19 p.m. An incoming message from Mr. N-jima told me that T M Tokkyu was running tonight's Tokyo Sprint at Ohi Race Tracks. Ah, yes. I briefly checked the entry form and sent a reply saying tonight is not the right time to go for T M Tokkyu, but it's doubtful how much my comment could help stop the old guy from buying betting tickets.

Sometime later, another message came in. "Okay, I'm ready to go! I'm going to win!" Looks like my words not only had absolutely no effect on his behavior but also fueled him to go down to the off-track betting.

Getting back to my task of preparing for Satsukisho, it suddenly hit me that the notes I've been referring to from the 2022 Satsukisho might not be of much use because I hadn't won the race that year. I remember keying Equinox, though I don't remember having Geoglyph on my wheel...

The End


4/11  It's Hard

8:25 p.m. To my surprise, Mr. N-jima has won the trifecta of yesterday's Tokyo Sprint and was so eager to bet on today's races, it took me a while to persuade him to give up Morganite Stakes. The barriers for Satsukisho had been drawn and announced by then.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Sunrise Zipangu
2Meisho Tabaru
3Ecoro Walz
4Sirius Colt
5Mr G T
6Allegro Brillante
7Lucullan Feast
8Jantar Mantar
9Urban Chic
11Ho O Purosangue
12Cosmo Kuranda
13Justin Milano
14Shin Emperor
15Sunrise Earth
16Danon Decile
17Byzantine Dream
18Water Licht

It's hard to tell the advantages or disadvantages of the barrier draw, especially when I haven't checked the track condition yet. I was going to check them after Saturday's races have been run. But I would keep the outer post drawers when it comes to Kizuna and Epiphaneia descendants.

Finally, I hate to have to bring up the topic of a jockey leaving the turf not because of retirement, but of an accident. My condolences goes to Kota Fujioka, one of the most charming and bravest jockey I've ever known. I still remember keying Jo Cappuccino in the 2009 NHK Mile Cup.

The End


4/12  Overslept Again

9:26 p.m. Darn, I'e overslept again! As a result, everything had to be done in a mad rush as is always the case with me when I've overslept.

Although I planned to finish my preparations for Satsukisho earlier than usual, and indeed, I was getting my tasks done on schedule, things started to lag behind from around when the old guy started ranting about Tokyo Sprint. Sadly, I haven't recovered from then and now I'm way behind schedule.

I've barely managed to narrow down the candidates to eleven, which means I've oly crossed out seven. That is definitely not good enough, considering it's already Friday. I have work tomorrow and that would surely eat up my time and energy. Sigh.

The End


4/13  Considering the Situation

9:34 p.m. I'm drained. I've done the best I could do with what little energy I had left.

The step races for this year's Satsukisho were all small-field races run in a lagged, sometimes sleepy-slow pace that I doubt if they were good enough to pep up the horses for the coming G1.

Considering the situation, I evaluated higher the horses that have performed well in either tight lap races or on tough track condition, yet having little or no damage.

I'm going to key Shin Emperor hoping he'd finish in the top three regardless of his rivals. On the wheel will be Meisho Tabaru, Ecoro Walz, Jantar Mantar, Regaleira, and Cosmo Kuranda.

I'm done. I need a smoke and a hot bath.

The End


4/15  Frustrating

9:07 p.m. Darn. When it rains, it pours.

While I'm licking my wound made by Satsukisho, stupid Cow keeps bothering me to help him with his online shopping, which is so frustrating. The guy has been trying hard to come up with something to buy so he could add it to the shopping cart to avoid paying shipping fees.

Yes, I can understand how he feels about shipping fees. But I'm also feeling anger building up inside me not just because he's been distracting me. I'm offended because of the pricing system. I don't mind paying shipping fees as long as it's reasonable. But it gets me annoyed when the shipping fee is suddenly added on to my shopping payment on the payment page, while they appeal free shipping on the shopping page.

If they only changed the system to display the prices with the shiping fee included, I would be released from my frustration. I wonder why they don't change the system?

I haven't finished my review for Satsukisho yet by the way, since I'm stuck. I can't think of a reason why the turf condition suddenly changed to a record-breaking fast track.

The End


4/16  Checking Out

7:40 p.m. Checking out why the track condition had suddenly changed. I thought the turf was time-consuming and therefore would benefit powerful horses because the winning record for Duramente Cup run just before Satsukisho wasn't exceptionally fast for a 3-win class.

However, as I checked an earlier race Nojimazaki Tokubetsu, a 2-win class race limited to female horses, the finishing record turned out to be 1 minute 58.2 seconds, an impressive record for this class. I also checked out the racing results going back two weeks to learn that on March 31st when the track was firm, similar finishing records were clocked for a 2000 meter turf race on Nakayama.

Conclusively, it can be said that the track condition hadn't suddenly changed, the turf simply dried off. I've only been mislead by last week's race results when the track had been soft. I must be careful from now on as the track condition seems to be the most important factor to win Satsukisho or at least, one of the most.

The End


4/17  Get Started

8:18 p.m. I need to get started with preparing for Yomiuri Milers' Cup held this weekend. I have a lot on at the moment that I barely managed to type in the names of the horses entered in this race.

Lately, I've been into this language learning app in which you make corrections for people who are trying to learn your mother tongue. The fact that your correction could be of help to someone else has grabbed me, and now I'm almost obsessed with it.

Tasks have been pending and even piled up before I started using the app and now I'm losing sleep. This is not good, definitely not good. Must improve my condition by next week as Tennosho waits right after Milers' Cup.

Wait, wait! Should I rather go for Fukushima Hinba Stakes? Aw, it runs Saturday, darn!

The End


4/18  Set My Goal

8:21 p.m. A day has already passed and my preparation hasn't moved an inch. Well, I had to tend to other things such as looking up the requirements to install Ubuntu as well as detailed procedures for installation.

Yes, I'm seriously thinking about switching the OS of my old lap-top from Windows to Ubuntu, as Microsoft will end its support for Windows 10, which is the latest OS version I could possibly install on the old device. Another reason is that having online meetings on my iPad via wifi leaves much to be desired, so I want to use my lap-top. But the web camera on the lap-top hasn't been working properly for the past year despite the latest driver being installed. I'm suspecting Windows to be causing some sort of trouble.

With all the searching, reading along with my language learning app activities, I've been kept quite busy all day. Have finally set my goal, though for Yomiuri Milers' Cup. It's a mile race run on the outer track of Kyoto turf on the opening week. Unless something goes terribly wrong, the pace is not going to get tight like the past two years when the race was run at Hanshin.

Therefore, all you have to do is look for the top four or five horses that can run the last three furlongs faster than the others, while making sure they don't have physical or mantal damage from their previous races.

The End


4/19  Not Efficient Enough

8:07 p.m. Oh, no. The barriers for Yomiuri Milers' Cup has already been drawn and announced while my preparation has been lagging behind!

Don't have the slightest feeling that I could make ends meet by tomorrow evening as I have to wrap this up in a zip. But well, I'll do the best I can with what little time I got left.

Sorry folks, it's not my bad. Or is it? Because I haven't been working efficiently enough? Aw, give me a break.

The End


4/20  Huh?

9:01 p.m. I thought I could just pick out the horses with instantaneous force, but it looks like I've underestimated the race.

Apart from Serifos, there doesn't seem to be horses that could perform well in a G1. The level of this year's Yomiuri Milers' Cup is pretty low. Yet Serifos is probably targeting Yasuda Kien, so Yomiuri Milers' Cup would be just a preparation. There's a high possibility that the horse is not yet ready to race at its full power.

On the other hand, it's hard to think that Soul Rush would perform well three years in a row, despite the fact Yomiuri Milers' Cup is friendly to repeaters. Besides, Soul Rush like Serifos, is probably aiming to win Yasuda Kinen, too.

With the clock ticking, I settled for Corepetiteur to key for the sole reason of winning Kyoto Kinpai, a mile race at Kyoto. On the wheel would be Tudo de Bom, Serifos, Air Lolonois, North the World, Session, and Soul Rush.

Huh? I got six horses on my wheel where there should be only five. Will have to cut one out.

The End


4/21  Totally Defeated

7:16 p.m. Totally defeated. Why did I key Corepetiteur in the first place? I should have been modest and keyed Serifos instead.

I was thinking of buying quinellas from Serifos so there won't be any loophole on my wheel. However, I went out to visit the family grave this afternoon and it took some effort to buy betting tickets via my smartphone while the connection wasn't so good. I had to make my final decision quick. I gave up Tudo de Bom and North the World on the spot, included Nihonpiro Kyiv replacing them.

As I was half in panick, though I've bought quinellas keying Corepetiteur where I had to key Serifos. If I didn't panick, perhaps I might have got 400 Yen back.

It's been another total blunder come to think of it, right from the start while my preparation lagged way behind schedule. It's about time I should learn.

The End


4/22  He'll Be There

Well, okay, I guess this means I have a chance of winning the Tenno Sho (Spring) after all. I've never won two in a row before.

Certainly, the biggest focus will be on whether or not Dretzea can win. Tozaki will also be aiming for his 2nd G1 victory, with a stroke of luck. Personally, I think choosing the Kinkosho as a prep race was not a bad choice. He was harshly beaten by Proggnosis, but it was his first start after a break and he was carrying 59kg.

However, I'm not sure if he can win. After all, this generation of 4-year-olds is weak. Soul Rush made a surprise comeback to win the Yomiuri Mile Cup. If possible, it might be better for Dretzea to break from an outside stall and take the lead early.

Teoh Royal is likely to be popular, but honestly, I don't want to bet on him. I don't want to bet on him, but I guess he'll be there, somewhere around 2nd or 3rd.

The End


4/23  Regulars

8:13 p.m. Let's move on to Tennosho (spring), now checking the results of the past ten years. Note that the race was held at Hanshin in years 2021 and 2022, due to the renewal of Kyoto.

It's clear that horses finishing in the top three in Tennosho had also performed predominantly well in their previous step races. To be precise, no horse has done well in Tennosho finishing lower than 6th place in their previous races, except for a few. In fact, there were only two horses that finished below 6th place, Cheval Grand (13th place) and Curren Mirotic (6th place).

What they share in common is that they were both Heart's Cry descendants and that they had already performed well in Tennosho (spring) before. Curren Mirotic had been the third place winner in the year before, while Cheval Grand had finished in the top three 2 years in a row before he came back from 13th place in his step race, Osakahai.

In other words, they were not only repeaters but almost "regulars" of this characteristic marathon race called Tennosho (spring).

The End


4/24  Age Brackets

8:26 p.m. When you look at the results of Tennosho (spring) according to age brackets, the 5-year-olds seems to be at the center of high performance in the past ten years, having the winning ratio of 10.9%, 17.4% place ratio, and the show ratio by 19.6%.

The 4-year-olds follow closely behind in win and place, while slightly leading in show ratio with 25.0%. The respective ratios for 6-year-olds and above grow smaller by age with 0% wins in 7year-olds and 8-year-olds. The place ratio for 7-year-olds is also 0%.

If I take this information at face vallue, I wouldn't have to worry about where to position the older horses. I'd simply put them on the third row of my wheel. 7-year-old horses that actually performed well in the past 10 years were Silver Sonic, Perform a Promise, and Curren Mirotic.

Curiously, Curren Mirotic has raised its performance finishing in second place the following year, but this overlaps with how Cheval Grand upgraded its performance from third to second. It could be considered a unique nature of Heart's Cry descendants. So unless the aged candidates are heart's Cry descendants, I don't have to be careful. Great!

The End


4/25  Chillax

8:34 p.m. As usual, have been rushed by anxious Mr. N-jima to let him know of the results of the barrier draw a little past noon. Chillax, old man.

Post NumberHorse Name
2Hindu Times
3Plume d'Or
4Warp Speed
5Blow the Horn
6Deep Bond
8Gold Princess
9Silver Sonic
11Matenro Leo
13Scar Face
14T O Royal
15Meisho Breguet
16Chuck Nate
17Smart Phantom

Okay, now. The track condition will be crucial. Doesn't look like it's going to rain according to the forecast. And I don't see any horse in prticular that would runaway. If Durezza takes the lead, you can't complain even if he wins.

The End


4/26  Down to 10

9:14 p.m. Another busy day. Have been running around all afternoon and haven't been able to carve out time for my daily exercise.

Referring to my earlier posts, I crossed out the horses with less chances in a hurry. If I don't hurry, I will be deprived of my sleep again since stupid Cow is non-cooperative in every way possible.

I left Deep Bond and Silver Sonic untouched, though. Either of them are Heart's Cry descendants, but they both performed well last year so I shall be careful when deleting them from my list of candidates. The decision shouldn't be made in a haste.

I've also struckthrough a few horses which are suspected of damage. Hindu Times has somehow scratched off so now I'm down to 10 horses. Will have to scruitnize them after work tomorrow.

The End


4/27  More Time to Refine

9:17 p.m. Late as always. But I've narrowed down the candidates from 10 to 6. Still need some more time to refine the call, though I think I can give it an okay as a draft.

Durezza will be the key horse. If Durezza didn't win, I don't know what other horse would. On the wheel would be Saliera, Blow the Horn, Deep Bond, Matenro Leo, and T O Royal.

To be honest, I'm rather doubtful about T O Royal for several reasons. One, because the horse has won two grade races in a row, there is the risk of piled up damage. Two, the horse has drawn an outer post, which is good for the horse but can be a disadvantage considering the course unless the pace gets tight. I've got more, but think will put a stop to it here.

I'm also skeptical about Matenro Leo, though if there aren't any other horse to take the lead, I shall keep him on the list. I gave up Silver Sonic since he seems to be in a bad cycle now.

Oh, and I'll skip writing tomorrow as the old guy is coming again. Regards.

The End


4/29  Beg for Forgiveness

8:22 p.m. I was wrong, absolutely wrong about Durezza. I beg for forgiveness. The way Durezza gradually fell behind the others in the last stretch despite his rider's encouragement explained everything. The horse wasn't good enough to win.

I've been reminding myself not to trust the 4-year-olds but I'd thought Durezza was an exception. Well, there was no exception. I'v been deceived by that Kikkasho.

If I had Blow the Horn on the second and Deep Bond on the third of my trifecta, it doesn't matter as long as I didn't have T O Royal on the first.

There's nothing I could do but to grin and bear it for now. Considering the low level of the older horses, it's highly likely for this year's 3-year-olds to dominate the G1 races this fall.

The End


4/30  Workouts Pay Off

6:31 p.m. Belatedly, I've been doing some workouts lately, due to a rapid increase in my triglycerides. It's been about two months since I started, and since the numbers have dropped down from the red zone to the average range, though still in the high. If I do say so myself, I've done a good job. Also, I'm still keeping up with the workouts.

The thing is, workouts pay off whereas my efforts for winning races don't. It's the sad truth of this world.

Unfortunately, I've misjudged the generation strength in Tenno-sho (spring) but this week's NHK Mile Cup is limited to 3-year-olds when no generation gap exists. The key to winning, in my humble opinion, is deciding which horse to keep or not according to their step races, and whether the pace would be tight or slow.

Let's start checking from the step races.

The End