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5/01  Good, Good

6:48 p.m. As usual, horses that performed well in NHK Mile Cup have mostly finished above 4th place in their previous races. There were actually eight horses in the past ten years that have sunk below 5th place in their previous races, but performed well in NHK Mile Cup.

Most of these eight horses had finished above third place in the race before their step races. It's not easy for a horse to recover from cosecutive losses. The only two horses that hadn't were Clarity Sky, the 2015 winner and Kings of the Sun finishing third in 2014.

What the two horses had in common was that their last two races before NHK Mile Cup were both identically the same, Yayoisho and Satsukisho. Another sheer coincidence between Clarity Sky and King of the Sun was that they had both performed well in their race before Yayoisho. Clarity Sky had won the third place in Asahihai Futurity Stakes, while Kings of the Sun had finished second in Keiseihai.

Good, good. So I could start from crossing out horses that haven't finished above third place for three consecutive races.

The End

Caterpillar

5/02  Only One

7:46 p.m. Checked out the horses that haven't finished above third place in their last three races and it turns out I can only cross out one.

Never mind. Moving on to which step races the high-performers were from.

In the past ten years, the step races that performed best were Arlington Cup and New Zealand Trophy, and six horses from each race have finished above third place in NHK Mile Cup. Since they are both mile races, it's better to finish in the top three than sink way below. Horses losing below fourth place but making a come back in NHK Mile have won in their previous races before Arlington Cup or New Zealand Trophy.

Horses from Oukasho seem to do better in NHK Mile when their performances in Oukasho was not so good. The only exception was Resistencia, the runner-up in Oukasho, but then, she was the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies champion. Horses losing in fourth or fifth place in Oukasho seem to have a better chance when they'd performed well in Queen Cup.

The End

Caterpillar

5/04  The Impact

8:37 p.m. Sorry about skiping yesterday, I had to face a devastatingly sad truth and I just couldn't bring myself up to writing. Haven't been able to focus on anything since then, for the impact was overwhelmingly big.

I've taken some short cuts and managed to narrow down the candidates for NHK Mile Cup to six, give or take a few, but it seems that's the best I could do for now.

The six remaining candidates are Noble Roger, Di Speranza, Bond Girl, Gonbade Qabus, Ascoli Piceno, and Jantar Mantar. I'm thinking of keying Ascoli Piceno for the moment.

The End

Caterpillar

5/05  A Lot On

8:12 p.m. There's nothing to say as I was way far off the mark.

Eventually, I keyed Ascoli Piceno but didn't think Jantar Mantar would win. Besides I crossed out Logi Leon at an early stage.

Will see if I could reset myself. There's been a lot on lately.

The End

Caterpillar

5/06  The World Won't Stop

7:34 p.m. Even though I want a break, the world won't stop turning and tomorrow keeps coming. I've got to go out tomorrow and therefore make preparations.

Mr. N-jima who has won the NHK Mile Cup trifecta mentioned that Maked Diva would win this week's Victoria Mile Cup, but it just doesn't sound right to me. I don't remember a female horse winning both Hanshin Hinba Stakes and Victoria Mile Cup, although there were horses that finished second or third.

Will see if I could check my past notes tomorrow.

The End

Caterpillar

5/07  As Feared

7:14 p.m. Very tired and sleepy as I had to get up earlier than usual. But I did check the past results of Victoria Mile Cup.

As I'd feared, no horse in the past 10 years have won both Hanshin Hinba Stakes and Victoria Mile Cup. The best performance was by Sound Chiara finishing second in the 2020 Victoria Mile Cup after winning Hanshin Hinba Stakes.

I've also forced myself to dig out old notes from the past Victoria Mile Cup to find a short description about Hanshin Hinba Stakes winners. It said pay little attention to the horses that won Hanshin Hinba except when they are Sunday Silence descendants. Well, there aren't direct descendant of Sunday Silence anymore, so perhaps I could ignore Masked Diva?

The End

Caterpillar

5/08  Hope That Works

7:53 p.m. It turns out this year's Victoria Mile Cup probably won't run in full field. As I checked the entry form a while ago, the names of horses entered counted to just 15. Not that it matters, but then, the chances for bigger payouts is generally higher when more horses are running.

Meanwhile, I've dug out another note, this one from the past Yasuda Kinen, which might be of some help. The situation is a bit different from Yasuda Kinen, since Victoria Mile Cup is held two weeks earlier, though I might be able to repurpose the system as the two races are run on the same course, same distance.

Hope that works!

The End

Caterpillar

5/09  Another Clue

8:51 p.m. Another clue from the past results.

As I often say, due to the distance of the race, it's better not to lose both of the last two races too big. In the past 10 years, there were eight high-performing horses that had finished below fourth place consecutively before Victoria Mile Cup. However, six of them had a career of finishing above third place in G1 races including Victoria Mile Cup, which means that they had high potential and aptitude.

The remaining two, Minaret and Denko Ange didn't have a career in G1s. What they share is that their previous race was Fukushima Hinba Stakes, and they'd both finished above fifth place.

The End

Caterpillar

5/10  Surprisingly Intuitive

8:38 p.m. This week I received a message from the old man rushing me to send the result of the barrier draw. I'm not sure if he sensed my tragic experience last week, but the old guy can be surprisingly intuitive sometimes.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Lilac
2Fierce Pride
3Stunning Rose
4Conch Shell
5Umbrail
6Masked Diva
7Harper
8Sound Vivace
9Ten Happy Rose
10Namur
11Rouge Lignage
12Kita Wing
13Moryana
14Feel Sympathy
15Doe Eyes

Doesn't look like the pace could get tight with these competitors. If so, it could become Maked Diva's pace, though that doesn't automatically mean she'd win.

The End

Caterpillar

5/11  Getting Down

8:58 p.m. Getting right down to the point as I'm tired, sleepy, and worn out.

Currently the remaining horses on my list are Fierce Pride, Umbrail, Masked Diva, Ten Happy Rose, and Namur, though I've forgotten why I kept Ten Happy Rose. Might add Doe Eyes.

Haven't decided which to key, Masked Diva or Namur, but the track condition seems to suggest horses that could take their positions up front. Will go check the results of today's races again.

The End

Caterpillar

5/12  Logical Thinking

7:44 p.m. Is there anyone who bought betting tickets making use of my call? If someone has won such a huge payout, I'd be very happy and it would also be the least blessing.

I was stupid enough to buy exactas keying Namur on the first place and Ten Happy Rose on the second. I had Masked Diva on the first and second row of my trifectas but not on the third row. Since I was thinking that it would be better to take higher position, why didn't I simply key Masked Diva on a trio?

Guess I need some help with logical thinking, though I knew that for some time now. Obviously, it would take time to gain the skill to think logically, so maybe I'll try asking an AI next time for help.

The End

Caterpillar

5/13  Oukasho Group Advantaged

8:08 p.m. The Oaks is already coming up this week. As in previous years, horses from Oukasho will be at an advantage. Having run in a G1 race has an impact on both the growth of young horses at this time of year and the results of the next race.

The key is to find horses from the Oukasho group that will benefit from the change in conditions to Tokyo 2400m. At this point, I think Stellenbosch's dominance is unshakeable. The rest is to see if there are any horses from Oukasho that lost for a good reason, but will benefit from the change in conditions.

Horses coming from other routes are difficult to evaluate as top class horses especially, when they haven't experienced Oukasho. In addition, depending on their past race records, it is not uncommon for them to find it difficult to run well due to fatigue or stress. I think the only chance for a good run in the Oaks is for horses with high potential, no damage from fatigue or stress, and who will benefit from the change in conditions.

The End

Caterpillar

5/14  Simple Standard

8:35 p.m. If you look at the results of Oaks for the past ten years, it's easy to see how horses from Oukasho perform well. Every year, there's at least one horse from Oukasho, finishing above third place, without exception. In 2014, 2018, and 2023, horses running Oukasho in their previous race have actually dominated the top three of Oaks.

The question is, which horse from Oukasho should I buy and which horse should I not? Well, I have a simple standard to decide whether or not to buy. If the horse has performed better in a slow-lapped race in its short career, I'd buy. If not, I'd cross that horse out.

The End

Caterpillar

5/15  Conventional

7:53 p.m. Let's take a look at the Oukasho group entered for Oaks at the moment. Queen's Walk, Shonan Manuela, Sweep Feet, Stellenbosch, Cervinia, and Light Back's names are on the entry list. And I've checked all six horses to ses whether their performance could improve in a lagged pace.

Speaking from the result, there were only two horses likely to improve or keep their perfomances when the pace dropped, Stellenbosch and Light Back. They might be conventional and probably quite favored, with Ascoli Piceno choosing NHK Mile Cup instead of Oaks, but it can't be helped.

Shonan Manuela and Sweep Feet I think, peforms better in tougher races. As for Queen's Walk and Cervinia, there are chances for them to slide into second or third place, though the possibility for them to win is not high in my humble opinion.

The End

Caterpillar

5/16  Hold On

8:39 p.m. Since it's the second crown race, the barrier draw was held today and the result was announced in the afternoon.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Mi Anhelo
2Queen's Walk
3Ethelfleda
4Pareja
5Koganeno Sora
6Sunset View
7Stellenbosch
8Hohelied
9Lavanda
10Admire Belle
11Windstille
12Cervinia
13Sweep Feet
14Light Back
15Safira
16Shonan Manuela
17Tagano Elpida
18Lance of Queen

I was hoping Safira would draw an inner post, but that didn't happen. Hold on. Pareja and Shonan Manuela are far apart, which means there could be a chance for the pace to get a bit faster. Will go and check if there's been an Oaks run in a tight lap before.

The End

Caterpillar

5/17  Quick Search

7:59 p.m. A quick search revealed there actually were times when Oaks was run at a tight pace despite its distance, though only a few.

In 2006 when Kawakami Princess won, the first 1000 meters were run at 58.1 seconds. I remembered that one, by the way. There are more cases of tight-lapped Oaks, but they were run before 2003, so I guess I'll leave them for another time.

I'm not sure if the pace is likely to get tight this year, but as long as there's a possibility perhaps I should keep that in mind? Gotta go now, I'm bound for a long day tomorrow.

The End

Caterpillar

5/18  About to Drop

8:35 p.m. Had to get up in the morning after only 4.5-hours' sleep, walk 50 minutes and back, then work usual hours. I hope you understand I'm not in a state to make sensible decisions.

So far I've narrowed down my cancidates for Oaks to six. And I'm hoping I could key Stellenbosch, since that's the easiest conclusion. As mentioned earlier in the week, I'm weighing the Oukasho group heavier, though warning lamps are flickering in my head for Koganeno Sora and Tagano Elpida. I'm not sure why.

And the candidates' names left on my list are Koganeno Sora, Stellenbosch, Admire Belle, Cervinia, Light Back, and Tagano Elpida. Sorry, I'm running out of brain resource and about to drop.

The End

Caterpillar

5/19  Broke Even

6:48 p.m. This year's Oaks ended up in an unimpressive result of second, first and third favored horses dominating the top three.

Shonan Manuela and Windstille did seem to raise the pace for the first half, though the furlong time reveals that it wasn't such a tight lap after all, especially considering the firm and fast track condition. If it was really a tight lap, Mi Anhelo or Tagano Elpida wouldn't have sunk that low. Besides, the favored horses didn't go after the two runaways, rather chose to stay behind and keep their cool.

My first choice was Light Back first and Cervinia second on exacta, so I didn't get my wish granted. But my trio earned a win if not much, so I guess I broke even.

The End

Caterpillar

5/20  After Oaks

5:45 p.m. After Oaks comes D'erby. That's the law of nature. And just as it was for Oaks, horses running in Satsuki-sho are performing overwhelmingly well at least for the past ten years.

As I've said before, the experience of running in a G1 race especially, when the horses are still young is very important. Of all thirty horses that finished above third place in D'erby for the past ten years, 23 horses indeed were from Satsuki-sho. Additionally, there isn't a year that went without two horses from Satsuki-sho. Moreover, there are only two times when a horse from Satsuki-sho didn't win D'erby, year 2019 when Roger Barows won, and year 2021 when Shahryar beat Efforia by a nose.

Therefore, I would start checking from horses that run Satsuki-sho in their previous races.

The End

Caterpillar

5/21  Crucial Point

2:48 p.m. So the crucial point in winning D'erby is whether or not I could pick up the right horses from Satsuki-sho. And in case there are few horses that could improve their performance from Satsuki-sho, that's when I'll have to look into horses from other trial races.

Looking at the Satsuki-sho group, it seems okay to choose a horse to key from those that finished above third place in Satsuki-sho, as long as the horse doesn't have damage. For horses that lost below fourth place in Satsuki-sho, only the ones that have finished first or second in their races prior to Satsuki-sho have done well in the past 10 years.

I should also keep in mind that horses need to have high aptitude for Tokyo turf, in order to improve their performance from Satsuki-sho.

The End

Caterpillar

5/22  Quite A Task

3:37 p.m. Let's check the entrees of D'erby based on the Satsuki-sho group preview. First, from the horses that lost below fourth place.

Aargh! It turns out all of them meet the set conditions! Will have to look into their race records in detail, which is going to be quite a task. Now, let's see what we have left for the Satsuki-sho top 3. I was putting my hopes on Jantar Mantar but since he'd changed his plan and won NHk Mile Cup, will have to make do with the remaining two.

Justin Milano can be pretty risky. He's won the tight-lapped Satsuki-sho after winning a sleepy-slow Kyodo Tsushin-hai. It suggests that the horse performs better under the same situation, which I assume, does not suit D'erby's profile. The least belssing is that he might not have too much damage. Cosmo Kuranda can be even more dangerous considering his sire, Al Ain.

The End

Caterpillar

5/23  Why, Of Course

8:29 p.m. While I've been occupied with housework, the barriers for D'erby has long been drawn and announced. Why, of course. It's Thursday.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Sunrise Earth
2Regaleira
3June Take
4Byzantine Dream
5Danon Decile
6Cosmo Kuranda
7Mr G T
8Urban Chic
9Danon Ayers Rock
10Sunrise Zipangu
11Sugar Kun
12Sixpence
13Shin Emperor
14Gonbade Qabus
15Justin Milnano
16Meisho Tabaru
17Shonan la Punta
18Ecoro Waltz

Regaleira drawing the lucky post is tempting, I admit. There may be little chance for Meisho Tabaru, I'm afraid, whether he takes the lead or not since outer posts would be a diadvantage for this horse. Same goes for Ecoro Waltz.

The End

Caterpillar

5/24  Whole Different Story

8:59 p.m. Another full day of housework, starting from shopping to house cleaning no, purging since Mr. N-jima is coming down this weekend. I hadn't cleaned in a while so had to do a thorough clean-up.

I just got down to the computer and it got me on hold because of Chrome update. Now of all times when I can't afford to lose another minute. I haven't done much preparation for D'erby, you know? Yet I have a hunch that Regaleira won't win, if she came in second or third, despite the lucky post (and Christophe).

I pulled up the racing form on the screen and it tells me that Meisho Tabaru has scratched off. It's going to be a whole different story, then.

The End

Caterpillar