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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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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
3Ipheion
4Catfight
5Chicago Sting
6Hawaiian Tiare
7Sweep Feet
8Corazon Beat
9Ascoli Piceno
10Sekitoba East
11Light Back
12Stellenbosch
13Teumessa
14Shonan Manuela
15Etes Vous Prets
16Cecilie Plage
17Mask All Win
18Cervinia

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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
10Regaleila
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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar

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

Caterpillar