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As the dawn of a new era approaches in Japan, the racing run in honor of the Emperor will take place on Sunday, April 28 at Kyoto Racecourse, located just south of the city of Kyoto. Kicking off the Golden Week holiday this year, the Emperor’s Cup (Tenno Sho) is expected to draw big crowds once again to witness one of Japan’s most historic races. Run twice a year in spring and autumn, this week’s race will mark the 80th running of the spring showpiece, while being the 159th overall, when including the autumn Emperor’s Cup races.

The race is for 4-year-olds and up, and is run over 3,200 meters on the outer turf course, providing a real stamina test for the runners. The applause that accompanies the horses the first time they pass the packed stands is one of the great moments in Japanese horseracing. This year’s Grade 1 Tenno Sho (Spring) has attracted 15 nominations, and with no fillies or mares nominated, all horses will carry the set weight of 58kg. There are five 4-year-olds and five 6-year-olds among the entered horses, although 5-year-olds have won four times in the last 10 years. During that same period, second favorites have won the race five times, with the top market leader only having won once.

Lead up races to this year’s Tenno Sho (Spring) have included the Grade 2 Nikkei Shinshun Hai run over 2,400 meters at Kyoto in January, the Grade 2 Nikkei Sho run over 2,500 meters at Nakayama, and the Grade 2 Hanshin Daishoten run over 3,000 meters at Hanshin, the latter two races both being run in March. As to be expected with such a prestigious race, total prize money amounts to JPY325 million, with JPY150 million going to the winner. The last seven years, the race has been run on firm ground, and the great Kitasan Black holds the record time, when he won in 2017 (following up his win in 2016) in a time of 3 minutes, 12.5 seconds. Jockey Yutaka Take has won the Tenno Sho (Spring) an incredible eight times, but for this race he will be away on his overseas travels again, riding in Hong Kong.

The big race will be Race 11 on the card at Kyoto on Sunday, with a post time of 15:40 local time. Final declarations and barrier draw will be announced later in the week. Here’s a look at some of the top stayers expected to be in the lineup:

Fierement: The 4-year-old colt by Deep Impact is last year’s Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) winner. That race was run over 3,000 meters at Kyoto, showing the horse’s ability over a distance at the track. In just one race this year, he was beaten into second in the Grade 2 American Jockey Club Cup over 2,200 meters at Nakayama. His race jockey will be Christophe Lemaire, whose recent win on Saturnalia in the Grade 1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) now means he has won every Classic race in Japan. Fierement is trained by Takahisa Tezuka. “After his last race, he was back at the stable and had a slight fever. In work after that he was good, although not quite finishing off so well because of his condition. He’s since had a break at Northern Farm Tenei, and after returning, his training on April 10 was fine. He picked up speed well and moved without any problems,” the trainer said.

Etario: Last year’s Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) runner-up can be considered a little unlucky, having finished second in seven of his 10 career races. Sure enough, last time he finished second in the Grade 2 Nikkei Sho over 2,500 meters at Nakayama in March, his only race so far this year. He’s never been out of the first two in three starts at Kyoto. Mirco Demuro has ridden the 4-year-old in his last three races, and will be hoping he can give him his first Grade 1 of the year. Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi commented: “Last time in the Nikkei Sho he took the bit from the start and ran well. Since that run, we’ve changed his blinkers to a lighter type and he’s worked well in training, not showing any problem and running powerfully.”

Meisho Tekkon: The Manhattan Cafe 4-year-old blew his opponents away last time when leading all the way to win the Grade 2 Nikkei Sho at Nakayama in March, carrying 55kg. He’s five wins from 11 starts, and even though he’ll have to carry an extra 3kg, as well as having a mixed track record at Kyoto, he remains a definite contender. The horse is trained by Yoshitada Takahashi, who found Grade 1 success with Fine Needle. Of Meisho Tekkon, the trainer said: “Since the start of the year he’s become better, and the Nikkei Sho was the plan for him, and he was able to improve enough and get a result in that race. His back has gotten stronger and he seems a lot more mature now.”

Glory Vase: The 4-year-old colt by Deep Impact has just had seven starts and has won three times and finished second twice. He was fifth in last year’s Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), and he won his only race this year, the Grade 2 Nikkei Shinshun Hai over 2,400 meters at Kyoto. He is trained by Tomohito Ozeki. “There was some tiredness after his last race, so we’ve taken care with him and we’ve waited for this race next. He looks good and moves well, and demonstrated this in a piece of work on April 11,” the trainer said.

Kafuji Prince: The 6-year-old has finished third and second in his last two races, the latest being the Grade 2 Hanshin Daishoten over 3,000 meters at Hanshin in March. Despite missing the whole of 2018 with leg problems, the son of Heart’s Cry looks to have returned to form after his latest big race finish. Trained by Yoshito Yahagi, assistant trainer Takahide Ando said, “He really did well in his last race and he’s had a break at the farm since. He returned to the stable on April 6, and he seems fine, with everything going according to plan so far.”

You Can Smile: Followers of the 4-year-old colt would certainly have been smiling after his last race, when he ran out a comfortable winner of the Grade 3 Diamond Stakes over 3,400 meters at Tokyo in February. His last three races have been over 3,000 meters or longer, and he certainly seems like a horse that can see out the longer distances. He is another runner from the stable of trainer Yasuo Tomomichi. Even though You Can Smile will have to carry an extra 4kg this time, jockey Yasunari Iwata, who rode him for the first time in his last race, will be hoping he can provide him with another Tenno Sho victory, after his win last year aboard Rainbow Line.
Clincher: The 5-year-old by Deep Sky will be taking on his 7th Grade 1 race this time, and while he’s never actually pulled off a win at the very highest level, his record at Kyoto is certainly one to note, having never finished out of the first three at the track, including his second in the Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) in 2017, and his third place finish in the Tenno Sho (Spring) last year. His big race rider will be Kosei Miura.

Unbeaten Race Favorite Saturnalia Claims This Year15 Apr 1:30 pm

Overwhelming race favorite Saturnalia won this year’s Satsuki Sho to register two consecutive G1 victories following the year-end Hopeful Stakes. Unbeaten in all his for starts since his debut last year, the son of Lord Kanaloa and out of Cesario became the 17th unbeaten colt to claim the Satsuki Sho since Deep Impact in 2005. Trainer Katsuhiko Sumii claimed his 25th JRA-G1 title following his win in the 2017 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) with Kiseki and his second Satsuki Sho victory following his win with Victoire Pisa in 2010. This win marked jockey Christophe Lemaire’s 24th JRA-G1 win following the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) title with Gran Alegria just last week. He became the ninth jockey in JRA history to have won all five classic titles for three-year-old colts and fillies.

Breaking smoothly from stall 12, Saturnalia settled in mid-division, around ninth from Lance of Puraana who set a moderate pace. Traveling wide behind Velox, the son of Lord Kanaloa closed the gap between the frontrunners turning the last two corners and surged out behind Velox after entering the lane. With four horses rallying to take the front at the 200-meter pole, Saturnalia, Velox and Danon Kingly continued to maintain strong speed in the last 100 meters to launch a fierce rally up to the wire with Saturnalia managing to come home a head in front.

“I rode him for the first time in the race but I had confidence in him. He seemed a bit nervous and drifted towards the inside when we took command before the crowd. His condition was not 100% as it was his first start this year but he should be in top condition going into the Japanese Derby,” commented Christophe Lemaire.

Fourth choice Velox traveled two wide in striking position, around 5-6th from the front. The son of Just a Way was the first to enter the lane and while falling back to third in the three-horse rally, found another gear in his last strides to beat Danon Kingly by a nose for second place.
Third favorite Danon Kingly broke sharply and settled fourth from the front while taking an economic trip by the rails. The Deep Impact colt met traffic entering the lane but found a narrow space between horses, unleashed a powerful charge from the inside to launch a fierce rally with the eventual winner and runner-up and, though taking the front at one point, was a head and a nose short at the wire to finish third.

Other Horses:
4th: (1) Admire Mars—raced towards front, switched to outside for clear path, no match for top 3 finishers
5th: (6) Courageux Guerrier—traveled inside winner, quickened in last 200m, belatedly
6th: (16) Tagano Diamante—settled 2nd from rear, advanced after 3rd corner, showed belated charge
7th: (11) Last Draft—ran behind winner, angled out, even paced at stretch
8th: (17) Admire Justa—sat 3rd from rear along rails, accelerated between horses, belatedly
9th: (14) Daddy’s Mind—stalked leader in 2nd, led briefly at early stretch, weakened in last 200m
10th: (18) Naimama—positioned towards rear, circled wide, passed tired rivals
11th: (13) Breaking Dawn—saved ground in mid-group, met traffic 200m out, lost momentum
12th: (10) Schwarz Riese—took economic trip in mid-division, lacked needed kick
13th: (3) Fantasist—hugged rails in mid-pack, never fired at stretch
14th: (2) Satono Lux—raced 3-wide in mid-group, found little room at early stretch, never threatened
15th: (9) Meisho Tengen—trailed in rear, unable to reach contention
16th: (15) Kurino Gaudi—chased leaders in 3rd, ran out of steam at stretch
17th: (8) Nishino Daisy—traveled 3-wide in mid-division, outrun after 3rd corner
18th: (5) Lance of Puraana—set pace, faded after final corner

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Oju Chosan Sets New Record Landing Fourth Consecut15 Apr 10:20 am

Overwhelming favorite Oju Chosan renewed Karasi’s 2005-2007 record and claimed his fourth back-to-back Nakayama Grand Jump victory. This marks his 11th consecutive graded steeplechase win, and sixth J-G1 triumph which include two Nakayama Daishogai titles. Following his 2018 Nakayama Grand Jump victory, the son of Stay Gold was briefly switched to flat racing where he marked two wins out of three starts and finished ninth in the year-end Arima Kinen. Sent back to challenge the jumps, he kicked off this season in good form immediately claiming the Hanshin Spring Jump win. Oju Chosan has given trainer Shoichiro Wada all of his six J-G1 titles and jockey Shinichi Ishigami, who grabbed an additional one in the Nakayama Daishogai with Nihonpiro Baron last year, now celebrates his seventh.

The eleven-horse field broke evenly before Miyaji Taiga took the lead after the first jump (obstacle no. 5), followed by Meiner Prompt in second and Oju Chosan in third. Challenged by Nihonpiro Baron from the outside coming out of the first dip, Oju Chosan swiftly advanced to threaten the leader before the brush fence (no. 6) but settled in second and eventually behind Nihonpiro Baron in third at the sixth jump (no.5). As the three climbed out of the dip together and cleared the seventh jump (grand hedge no.7) side by side, Miyaji Taiga once again paved the way but was caught in the backstretch and was through while Oju Chosan approached the 11th jump (no.9) next to Thinking Dancer in front of the others. The heavy favorite saved ground rounding the final turn and held off the challenge from the eventual runner-up to secure his fourth title by a good 2-1/2-length margin.

“The pressure from the other runners during the run was enormous—this was definitely the toughest race I’ve ever experienced. Besides one, we cleared all of the jumps well and he stretched to the line beautifully. I had no doubts about his strength and it’s a real joy to win four in a row,” commented Shinichi Ishigami after the ceremony.

Thinking Dancer was settled in around sixth and mid-pack most of the journey, made headway after the 10th jump (no.8) and caught up with the eventual winner at the 11th obstacle (no.9). Although the sixth-pick chestnut was no match against the defending champion despite a good challenge up to the final jump (no.10), Thinking Dancer showed good stayer talent clearing the wire seven lengths ahead of the next finisher.

Fourth favorite Meiner Prompt tracked the leaders in second, then fourth near the pace and dropped back a bit after the seventh jump (no.7). However, after clearing the final jump in fifth, the seven-year-old gelding emerged with another gear and overtook two tiring runners down the stretch for third.

Other Horses:
4th: (6) Rapid Ship—traveled around 8th, gradually advanced after 7th jump (no.7), responded well after final jump (no.10)
5th: (10) Taisei Dream—settled in 5th, made headway to close in on leaders after 10th jump (no.8), weakened after final jump (no.10)
6th: (1) Nihonpiro Baron—raced behind Oju Chosan, advanced to 2nd after 5th jump (no.6), gradually fell back after 7th jump (no.7)
7th: (8) Le Pere Noel—raced around 8th, unable to reach contention
8th: (2) Miyaji Taiga—set pace, faded after 10th jump (no.8)
9th: (11) Yamanin Sylphe—sat 3rd form rear, no factor
FF: (7) Toa Tsukihikari—trailed in rear throughout, unseated rider after final jump (no.10)
FF: (9) Shigeru Boss Zaru—ran 2nd from rear throughout, unseated rider after final jump (no.10)

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Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1) - Preview09 Apr 7:20 pm

After a thrilling Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) last weekend saw another exciting filly in Gran Alegria carry off the honors, attention this coming week focuses on the 3-year-old colts, when they will battle it out at Nakayama Racecourse near Tokyo, in the 79th running of the Grade 1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas). It represents the start of a long and arduous road of the Triple Crown races, a tough enough assignment that has only seen seven Triple Crown winners in Japanese racing history. The last horse to accomplish the feat was Orfevre in 2011.

This year 19 colts have been nominated for the race, which is run over 2,000 meters of the inner turf course at Nakayama. With the start in the homestraight, runners must negotiate four corners throughout their run, making it a hard task and leaving very little room for error. Some of the step races leading into this year’s Satsuki Sho have included the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, run over course and distance last December, the Grade 3 Kyodo News Service Hai, run over 1,800 meters at Tokyo in February, and the Grade 2 Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho, run over 2,000 meters at Nakayama in March. The latter is an official Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) trial.

First favorites have been faring quite poorly, in similar fashion to favorites in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas), and just two have won the first colts’ Classic in the last 10 years. The last one to do so was Logotype in 2013. Record time for the race is 1 minute, 57.8 seconds, set by Al Ain in 2017. Horses trained at the Ritto Training Center in the west of Japan have won the race six times in the past decade, winning twice more than horses trained at the Miho Training Center, closer to Tokyo.

It’ll be a big weekend at Nakayama Racecourse, with the Nakayama Grand Jump (J-G1) being run on the Saturday, followed by the Satsuki Sho on the Sunday. The latter will be Race 11 on the card, with a post time of 15:40 local time. Final declarations and barrier draw will come out later this week.

Here’s a look at some of the colts expected to be in the lineup:

Saturnalia: The well-bred colt is a half-brother to 2014 Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia and is out of dual Oaks winner Cesario. He remains unbeaten in three career starts and will be having his first run this year after having won the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at the end of last year over the course and distance of the Satsuki Sho. Assistant trainer Yasuyuki Tsujino said: “He showed both mental and physical strength last time when winning the Hopeful Stakes. After that he had a break at Northern Farm Shigaraki and came back to the stable on March 13. His work since has been good and we have enough time to get him just right for the race.”

Admire Mars: The Best 2-Year-Old Colt of 2018 lost his unbeaten record in his one race this year, when he finished second to Danon Kingly in the Grade 3 Kyodo News Service Hai over 1,800 meters at Tokyo in February. His big race rider will be Mirco Demuro, who’s partnered him in all his races so far. Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi said, “In the Kyodo News Service Hai, he was out in front, and I thought he might be able to sustain things to the end, but the pace was a bit slow and the winner was just able to find a bit more at the finish. He’s had a break at the farm, but we now have this race in mind for him.”

Danon Kingly: The Deep Impact colt is unbeaten in three starts, and jockey Keita Tosaki will be hoping he can give him another win in the race, having won last year on Epoca d’Oro. Danon Kingly has one win at Nakayama, and that was over 1,600 meters last December. Trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said: “After his last race he went to Northern Farm Tenei for a break and came back to the stable on March 22. On March 27, he worked on the woodchip course with his race jockey, and everything was confirmed as being fine with him.”

Velox: The colt has had a couple of easy wins so far this year, the latest in the Wakaba Stakes over 2,000 meters at Hanshin in March. Jockey Yuga Kawada has struck up a good partnership with the horse, who is by Just a Way, a winner of the Dubai Turf in 2014. Assistant trainer Teruhiko Saruhashi commented: “It was a good win last time in the Wakaba Stakes and he’s come out of that race well. There’s no tiredness about him and things are as usual.”

Satono Lux: Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee has already won one Grade 1 race this year with Al Ain in the Osaka Hai. The colt is by Deep Impact and was bred at Northern Farm, and he has the distinction of being the highest priced horse sold at the 2017 Select Sale. He’s coming off a win in the Listed Sumire Stakes over 2,200meters at Hanshin in February. The trainer stated, “After his second win he was quite tired, so we had to miss the Kisaragi Sho. After completely recovering, we took in the Sumire Stakes, and he’s recovered quickly after winning that race.”

Meisho Tengen: Another Deep Impact colt, Meisho Tengen managed to improve on his fifth place in the Grade 3 Kisaragi Sho over 1,800 meters at Kyoto in February to go on and win the Grade 2 Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho over 2,000 meters at Nakayama on heavy ground. He’s trained by Kaneo Ikezoe. “He won well last time, despite the heavy ground, and I was worried about that, given his run in the Kisaragi Sho. So I can take a lot from his last run and he’s been his usual self since,” the trainer said.
Emeral Fight: Winner of his last two races, including the official Guineas trial, the Grade 2 Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes most recently, the colt by Kurofune would seem suited to the Nakayama track. His closing speed last time just saw him grab a narrow win. Trainer Ikuo Aizawa said, “He got into a good position last time in the Spring Stakes and then went on to run a strong race. Since then we’ve been able to work him in the usual way, and we just keep things light with him for the time being.”

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Kluger finishes fourth in the Star Doncaster Mile09 Apr 6:34 pm

Japan-trained Kluger, a 7-year-old by King Kamehameha, finished fourth in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile held at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

In a 20-horse field, the Tomokazu Takano-trained horse made a late charge in the final furlong but was not enough to catch the top three finishers. Carrying a moderate 53kg with Tommy Berry, Kluger finished 2.7 lengths off of the winner, Brutal, a 3-year-old colt running under 49.5kg. Dreamforce finished a length behind Brutal, with Hugh Bowman's Hartnell rounding out the Top 3.

"He missed the start but used advantage of the inside draw," Takano said of his horse. "He couldn't really get into the flow of the race, but I'm satisfied with his actions in the final stretch - he ran his heart out."

"I was able to get good position after the start," Berry said. "The pace picked up before the final straight and it took him about 100 meters to get going. But he showed great speed in the last 200, 250 meters and I'm thankful for his efforts."

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Pro Tipster MAX is a service that allows you to buy the racing tips of elite Umanity professional tipsters--starting at just 100 yen/race. The racing tips of Umanity-approved professional tipsters aren't just symbols that indicate the outcome, but a proper racing tip that indicates the betting combination and how to allocate funds--racing tips whose wins/losses are completely transparent in this head-to-head world. That's a clear distinction from the racing tips of other sites, which do not publish their wins/losses.

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Last week Results

  • Highest Payout
  • Return Rate
  •  
Rank Tipster Race Payoff
(JPY)
Payout
(JPY)
Tip
1 Y.Satoh Y.Satoh
21 Apr Tokyo2R
3yoMaiden
4,260 407,950
399,430
2 Seiryu No.1 Seiryu No.1
21 Apr Tokyo7R
4yo&UpAllowance
4,480 390,530
410
22,570
3 shinzanmono shinzanmono
21 Apr Tokyo8R
4yo&UpAllowance
120,670 241,340
4 kyosukejrdb kyosukejrdb
20 Apr Tokyo11R
OASIS STAKES (L)
13,470 232,490
82,570
5 Takuma Taguchi Takuma Taguchi
20 Apr Fukushima7R
3yoMaiden
2,130 213,000

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
Races
Return
Rate
Hit
Rate
Winnings
(JPY)
Payoff
Ave.
1 nige nige
4R 225% 25% 45,970 82,570
2 Okabe Okabe
10R 195% 20% 5,700 5,850
3 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
47R 175% 38% 344,080 44,548
4 Royce Royce
30R 174% 40% 38,520 7,501
5 Ace No.1 Ace No.1
47R 173% 55% 336,410 30,473
6 kyosukejrdb kyosukejrdb
26R 140% 38% 86,960 30,046
7 N.Okamura N.Okamura
72R 133% 31% 166,200 28,530
8 Seiryu No.1 Seiryu No.1
47R 126% 29% 125,610 42,229
9 ButaminC ButaminC
31R 123% 35% 25,150 11,840
10 Mutsuki Mutsuki
72R 115% 25% 80,740 34,207
11 PrincessTrio PrincessTrio
72R 111% 41% 16,560 5,185
12 shinzanmono shinzanmono
72R 109% 26% 68,310 39,679
13 ibukimasaya ibukimasaya
36R 109% 25% 11,640 14,582
14 K.Souma K.Souma
56R 108% 33% 16,570 11,730
15 Z No.1 Z No.1
47R 106% 42% 30,150 24,557
16 E.Yamazaki E.Yamazaki
10R 106% 50% 6,100 21,220

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Tip Coliseum --Japan's Biggest Racing Tips Arena! Are you Going to Compete? Or just Watch?

Over the course of a year, some 5 million racing tips are registered in the Tip Coliseum, Japan's largest and highest-level racing tip event. Different people use it in different ways--from participating in the tournament and competing for rankings, to watching the tips of top rankers.

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 Tournament Info:Tournament 154 is currently being held!(20 Apr - 12 May)

Tournament 154 Latest result

Rank Tipster Level
Class
Deviation Return
Rate
Winnings
(JPY)
1
song song song song
Lv.98
91.0 1675%
1%
11,347,000
2
62710b67da 62710b67da
Lv.85
86.2 959%
1%
5,229,700
3
Hmt Hmt
Lv.92
84.8 747%
7%
278,870
4
comfort zone comfort zone
Lv.43
83.5 537%
8%
1,355,500
5
794593206e 794593206e
Lv.101
80.1 283%
33%
349,020

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No, registering with and using Umanity is free. Once you become a member (free), you can participate in the Tip Coliseum, and use functions that are helpful in making tips, such as the U-index (Umanity's proprietary speed index) on high-stakes races, U-Favorites (tip odds ), which show what's popular among Umanity users, register horses to watch, betting ticket purchasing tools, etc.--not to mention enjoying horseracing community functions, such as diaries, messaging and circles--all the basics for free.

Q2:
What do I have to do to register as a member?
A2:

Registering is simple--all it takes is an email address.
Once you register your email address, follow the instructions and you'll be registered as a member in 1 to 2 minutes flat! You can also register as a member via an account, such as your Yahoo! JAPAN ID.

Q3:
Do I have to register to use the site?
A3:

No, some functions (such as news) can be used without registering.
However, most of the functions require becoming a member (free) and then you can use them for free, so we recommend becoming a member.
[Free Functions Available to Umanity Members]
-Participate in the Tip Coliseum (registering tips, rankings and auto tallying of results)
-U-index of high-stakes races (Umanity's proprietary racehorse performance index with some 10,000 regular users)
-U-Favorites (tip odds), which show what's popular among Umanity users
-Plus, functions useful for making tips, such as registering horses to watch and betting ticket purchase support
-Community functions like diaries, messaging and circles

Q4:
Can I see racing tips for free?
A4:

There are both free tips and those you pay for.
You have to pay for the racing tips of professional tipsters.
Doing so requires the Umanity virtual currency, Gold (G).
Gold can be purchased with credit card.
Although you can view the racing tips of non-professional tipsters for "free," in some cases you need to use Umanity points, which you can get for free by being active on the site, such as by logging in, posting tips in the Tip Coliseum, etc.

Q5:
What is the U-index?
A5:

It is an index developed exclusively by Umanity to indicate the performance of a racehorse.
The value is based on the time over the distance of each horse to date, and estimates whether and how well they will perform in this race; as such, the higher the index, the better the race performance is expected to be.
The U-index is provided to Umanity members free for high-stakes races. To use it on all races, you have to become a member of the Umanity VIP Club, which is a paid service.

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