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Racing News

Ascot Racecourse on Saturday, Aug. 10 enjoyed one of its most colorful days of the year with the popular international jockey competition – the 19th Shergar Cup Challenge, currently sponsored by Dubai Duty Free. Representing Japan this year in not just one of the four teams, but two, were the Ritto-based Yuga Kawada on the Rest of the World team and Miho’s Nanako Fujita with the Girls.

Both teams did brilliantly, with the Rest of the World, consisting of Kawada, Hong Kong’s Vincent Ho Chak-Yiu and Australian Mark Zahra, bringing home 86 points for top spot and with it the Shergar trophy. With 63 points each, the Girls finished as joint runners-up with Europe, while Great Britain and Ireland came in last with 28.

Hayley Turner, who is known as the most successful female jockey in Britain to date, was the only jockey to win more than one race on Saturday. She was victorious in both the Stayers and the Classic and, with a whopping 40 points, took home the Silver Saddle individual award for a historic second year in a row.

The Shergar Cup is made up of six races on the flat – the Dash, Stayers, Challenge, Mile, Classic and Sprint – and this year the prize money on each was raised from 45,000 pounds sterling to 60,000. Each field numbered 10. The riders wear the colors of their teams, not the horses’ owners, and receive points for finishing in the first five places, starting with 15 points for a win and on down to three points for fifth place. Riders each receive event prize money of 20,000 pounds sterling in addition to their prize money percentages and they each ride five races. This year’s event was held on good going under cloudy skies with some rainfall and strong winds that forced the cancellation of the post-race concert. The races took place between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. local time.

The Shergar Cup was named after the ill-fated champion racehorse Shergar, who won the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes all in 1981 before being retired as a 3-year-old. In 1983, he was stolen from stud with a ransom on his head and never found again. The international jockey event was first held at Goodwood Racecourse in 1999, but moved to Ascot the following year, where it has brightened the summer season every year except in 2005 when Ascot closed due to renovations.

It was the second time since 2016 that the Rest of the World team topped the competition. Three years ago, Kenichi Ikezoe helped boost his team to victory by riding back-to-back second-place finishes in the event’s first two races. This year, though Japan’s hopefuls were unable to notch a win, they were still able to contribute to their respective teams.

Kawada’s notched his first third (worth 7 points) aboard a 6-year-old named Zwayyan in the Mile when he finished only a neck behind the runnerup. His second third-place finish came in the Sprint 1 length behind the runnerup on the 3-year-old Woven. Adding to that a fourth-place in the Stayers, Kawada was able to finish with 19 points total. Fujita totaled 8 points for the day, with her best a fourth partnered with the 5-year-old Koeman in the Challenge, and a fifth-place finish with the 3-year-old Zuba in the Classic. Kawada did not ride in the Classic, Fujita had no horse in the Sprint.

Kawada, who currently tops Japan’s jockeys for wins, had been named captain of the Rest of the World team, the first captain from Japan since Yutaka Take in 2012, another year the Rest of the World team won. “I didn’t have a great day myself, but my other teammates were very successful and rode very well, each winning a race,” Kawada said. “I came here last year during a trip to England and it has been great to catch up with people. It’s been good to meet new people too and has been a fun day. There’s a great atmosphere, a great result, and I am thrilled to have been the captain. I hope I can come back next year.”

It was Kawada’s second time riding at Ascot, following his debut on July 14 last year. “I’m really happy that we as a team were able to win. The three of us were talking,” he said of his teammates, “and I said I really wanted to win the last race. None of us were on popular horses and I hadn’t won anything up to then. So, I think, with my third in the last race, I was finally able to contribute a bit.”

Nanako Fujita, who had just turned 22 years old the day before the event, was making her debut at racing’s hallowed ground. “It was a very good experience even though it was disappointing and frustrating that I wasn’t able to win a race. But, I was able to experience racing that’s different from what’s in Japan,” the Ibaraki native who currently ranks No. 30 among JRA riders said. “It was my first time and I was tense, so I can’t actually say that I had fun. I realize I’ve really got to really buckle down with my riding. I learned a lot from the Shergar Cup and I’m going to apply that to my riding when I return to Japan.”
This year’s Great Britain and Ireland team was made up of captain Tadhg O’Shea, Irish-born but a champion in the UAE, Scotsman Danny Tudhope and Jamie Spencer from Ireland. The Europe team consisted of Frenchman Gerald Mosse, ace of the Netherlands Adrie de Vries and German champion and team captain Filip Minarik.

Deirdre glorious at Goodwood, stuns with historic 05 Aug 4:55 pm

August 1 proved to be a glorious day indeed for Japan as it pocketed yet another historic racing win on the international scene, this one coming in the country’s first representation at the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse and ending a 19-year drought on Group 1 wins in Britain for Japan.

Deirdre, a 5-year-old mare from the Ritto stable of Mitsuru Hashida, stunned the crowd on the third day of the five-day racing festival known as Glorious Goodwood with a surprise win of the 1,980-meter Group 1 Nassau Stakes over turf. She went to the gate a 20-to-1 longshot and the eldest against eight fillies, but rallied under Oisin Murphy to finish strongly, relegating the 3-to-1 Mehdaayih and Lanfranco Dettori to second place, and the 6-to-1 Rawdaa under Daniel Tudhope to third. “This is a dream come true. A massive day for Japan,” said Murphy, who says Deirdre’s long odds had failed to rattle his confidence in the mare.“I kept looking at her price, but thinking she had a wonderful chance, and to go and win against a decent field was something else.”

It was only the second top-level win for the globe-trotting Deirdre, but her sixth race overseas, all of them Group 1 events. Some 5 1/2 months after winning the Grade 1 Shuka Sho at home in 2017, the Harbinger-sired Deirdre was raced in the Dubai Turf at Meydan, then the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin, and finished third and second, respectively. This year, however, her three overseas excursions saw her finish out of the money. A fourth at Dubai in the Dubai Turf, a sixth at Sha Tin in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup and another sixth in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Ascot dampened expectations and saw odds creep higher, as memories faded of Deirdre’s last win, a Grade 2 at Tokyo last October.

In the Nassau Stakes on a beautiful bright Thursday in West Sussex, Deirdre carried 9 stone 7 pounds (60 kg) and broke from the No. 4 gate, in between Mehdaayih and the race favorite, Aidan O’Brien-trained double Guineas winner Hermosa. Dettori had been attempting to make it his fourth top-level win in a row in the U.K. and Mehdaayih (racing under 56.7 kg) looked good as they set a strong pace with Ryan Moore on Hermosa (also carrying 56.7 kg) following close behind.

When the latter, who had been sweating heavily before the race, dropped off quickly with 3 furlongs to go, Dettori looked set for the win. Deirdre, however, had been held up under Murphy, and still had something in the tank. Coming from far off the pace, Deirdre snuck up on the rail, and in a thrilling burst of speed caught and passed Mehdaayih in the final furlong to win by a length and a quarter. Hermosa finished last in the field of nine.

Post-race, Murphy, 23 years old and a native of Ireland, gushed praise. "You can see she is an absolute queen. She is a big, masculine type of a horse and I'm not surprised she was able to carry the 60 kilos which is more than what she is used to.”

Hashida was more reserved, although he had just become only the second Japanese trainer to win a Group 1 in Britain, after Hideyuki Mori and his win with Agnes World in the July Cup at Newmarket in 2000. “She was fresh and looking full of energy and I hope my other horses will be able to hold their own up against her,” the 66-year-old Hashida said. Fresh in his mind was Cheval Grand’s sixth-place finish in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes last week. Both Cheval Grand and Deirdre have been training at Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Abington Place Stables in Newmarket.

Racing manager Seiko Hashida said, “It was a very big challenge to come here. We have been in Britain for three months and we are so pleased that we kept believing in her,” she said of Deirdre. Connections have yet to decide on their next move, whether to return Deirdre to Japan or stay on, possibly in Europe.
Deirdre, now with 8 wins from 25 starts, was bred at Northern Farm in Hokkaido and is owned by Toji Morita. She is out of the Special Week mare Reizend. Her sire Harbinger was trained by Sir Michael Stoute (who trained the Nassau Stakes third-place finisher Rawdaa) and won the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in 2010 by 11 lengths. Harbinger now stands at Shadai Stallion Station.

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Triple Crown legend Deep Impact dies at 1731 Jul 6:52 pm

Deep Impact, one of the most successful horses and stallions in the history of the JRA, died on Tuesday. He was 17.

By the legendary stallion, Sunday Silence, Deep Impact became just the second undefeated Triple Crown winner in 2005. He went on to win seven Grade 1 races in a 12-for-13 career record (not including the disqualification in the 2006 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe), earning over 1.4 billion yen. His only defeat in Japan came in the 2005 Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix), where he lost a heated battle to Heart’s Cry in the final stretch.

After an illustrious racing career, Deep Impact was stationed at Shadai Stallion Station and did not disappoint as a stallion, producing multiple Grade 1 winners and becoming the JRA leading sire for seven straight years from 2012-2018.

Following are comments from the connections of Deep Impact:

Shadai Stallion Station: “We had been treating Deep Impact's neck injury for some time and he underwent surgery on July 28. The operation was successful and was doing well after the operation. However, on the morning of July 29, he was unable to stand up and we had been giving him the maximum treatment possible. On the morning of July 30, we took an X-ray and found a fracture in his cervical spine. We decided that he did not have any chance of recovery. We are extremely shocked and in grief with the sudden turn of events.”

Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Ltd., CEO, Makoto Kaneko, owner: “It was shocking to witness how easily he won the Triple Crown, and I am thankful for what he showed us. The most emotional moments were winning the Japan Cup and the Arima Kinen consecutively, after his loss in the Arc. Not many horses become stallions after their 4-year-old season, but he was also extremely successful as a stud. He gave me two more Derby winners, Makahiki and Wagnerian. I am in tears hearing this sudden tragic news. May he rest in peace.”

Yasuo Ikee, trainer (retired): “I am in shock of the sudden news. I could not have asked for any more in the two years plus of his racing career. I just pray that he is resting in peace.”

Yutaka Take, jockey: “I knew he was not in good shape, but I am disappointed to hear of the news. He is a very special horse in my life. I am just appreciative for all that he gave me.”

Northern Farm (breeder) representative, Katsumi Yoshida: “He was, without a doubt, the finest racehorse that Northern Farm ever bred. It is just disappointing to see him go, as he was extremely successful as a stallion. I hope he is resting in peace.”

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Cheval Grand finishes 6th in King George VI and Qu29 Jul 4:17 pm

Cheval Grand finished an “unlucky” sixth place in what turned out to be an epic running of the 69th King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

Cheval Grand, the 7-year-old challenger from Japan who went off at local odds of 33-to-1, ran his heart out on slightly yielding turf at the famed racecourse but crossed the finish line a distant sixth as Enable just held off Crystal Ocean, the highest rated racehorse per Longines World’s Best Horserace Rankings, for her 11th consecutive victory. Enable’s jockey Frankie Dettori won the race for an incredible sixth time.

Cheval Grand’s trainer Yasuo Tomomichi lamented the downpour the previous night that led to the softening of the track which did no favors for the son of Heart’s Cry, who came in third in the 2006 edition of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes.

“It’s a real shame about the rain from last night because he had been in excellent condition and would have preferred a good going,” Tomomichi said. “He was working so well in Newmarket until yesterday, coming along so well. Just leaves us thinking what if. He was in that kind of form.

“He seemed perfectly fine after the race, catching his wind right away. There should not be too much damage on him. We know the race was held late in the evening back in Japan and we really appreciate all the support for him.

“We will try to regroup as well as we can for our next start, the International Stakes,” he said, referring to the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Aug. 22.

Cheval Grand traveled third from the rear and gingerly made his way toward the front amid the turf conditions but by the time the party of 11 reached the home straight, the race had become a showdown between Enable, champion in 2017, and Crystal Ocean, who ended runner-up for the second successive year.

Oisin Murphy, who was aboard Cheval Grand, said it just was not the day for the 2017 Japan Cup winner with the rain and two of racing’s biggest superstars in the mix.

“He got off to a good stat and was fine initially but tripped up a little on the backstretch,” Murphy said. “He didn’t look capable of handling the going after the rain last night. He was in very good form thanks to the team, but was unlucky this time around. Just very unfortunate (about the weather).”

Japanese fan favorite Dettori described the race as one for the ages after his 5-year-old mare, the 8-to-15 first choice, triumphed to a ninth consecutive top-level win by a neck over the 5-year-old Crystal Ocean, trained by Sir Michael Stoute. Third-place Waldgeist was another length and three-quarters behind.

"She's brilliant,” said the 48-year-old Dettori, no stranger to some of the finest moments in racing history with more than 3,000 career victories. “(Crystal Ocean) is a great horse, I knew he was the one to beat. We gave the public what they came to see, and they got a fantastic horse race.

“In all my career that’s probably the hardest-fought Group One I’ve ever had. Two great champions, the last two furlongs. It doesn’t come every day.”

The John Gosden-trained Enable will now attempt to capture an unprecedented third straight title at Europe’s richest race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, which will be her swansong. Before that, Cheval Grand could get another crack at the living legend in the International Stakes.

“She is extraordinary and she really surprised me,” Dettori said. “She’s an amazing horse in every way – ability, courageous, uncomplicated.

“I love her, I ride her twice a week. She’s special, she gives me emotion that no other horse has given me in my life and she’s only with me for another three months, so I’m trying to enjoy every moment. You will probably only see her two more times, at York and the Arc, so let’s enjoy her. She’s a superstar.”

Murphy summed it up best: “Enable is the best since Frankel,” he said, referring to the legend who was retired in 2012 for a breeding career following 14 successive wins and was also owned by Khalid Abdullah.
Added Gosden, “Crystal Ocean showed all the courage in the world, and the first two are wonderful - they put up a great King George."

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Jodie finishes 4th in Belmont Oaks; Master Fencer 08 Jul 3:45 pm

Master Fencer’s valiant American swing came to a rather unspectacular end with a 13th-place finish in the $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational on Saturday, when unheralded Jodie did Japanese racing proud by coming in fourth in the $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational.

Master Fencer had turned heads this spring by finishing sixth and fifth in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, respectively, with Julien Leparoux in the saddle as the colt took a shot at the American Triple Crown. But returning to the turf on Saturday – a surface he has never won on in Japan – the son of triple Grade 1 champion Just a Way passed the post second to last among 14 runners.

The glory in the 70th running of the Belmont Derby – the first leg of the Turf Trinity – belonged to Henley’s Joy who cut a winning time of 1 minute, 58.29 seconds over 2,000 meters on firm grass at Belmont Park. The Michael Maker-trained long-shot at odds of 20 to 1 took home a prize of $535,000, over Social Paranoia.

Despite the result, Koichi Tsunoda, the trainer for Master Fencer, was anything but down after the race.

“He traveled well in a position we were happy with, considering how fast the pace was,” Tsunoda said. “I thought this whole trip was very meaningful to us because until you actually go out and do something, there’s no way of knowing what you can and can’t achieve.”

“Fortunately, we have an owner who has the guts and courage to take chances and thanks to his decision, we experienced a lot and learned a great deal from our time here. But above all, we’re glad our horse got through it all in one piece.”

With Suguru Hamanaka replacing Leparoux, Master Fencer – the first Japanese bred to run in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes – tried to take the race early to a field that saw He’s No Lemon scratched and Demarchelier pull up midway through.

But clearly not the same as he is on dirt where he flashes a devastating closing rush, Master Fencer was effectively out of contention and tired with two, three furlongs to go. Hamanaka, however, echoed the sentiments of the horse’s trainer, saying Master Fencer’s tour through the United States was more than about trying to win in a country where the Japanese contingent has not had the kind of success its had in other parts of the world.

“Speaking to the trainer he wanted me to push him towards the front so I did. There wasn’t much pressure from elsewhere and managed to get a much better position than I anticipated,” Hamanaka said of Master Fencer, out of Sexy Zamurai, by Deputy Minister.

“He’s not the quickest to respond and tends to fall behind around the final bend so I wanted to make my move early, but we just couldn’t stay when the pace started picking up.”

“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the owner, trainer and everyone else involved for this incredible experience – most of all Master Fencer himself, who I can’t thank enough for his effort.”

On the same terms as the Belmont Derby Invitational, Jodie raised a lot of eyebrows in the Belmont Oaks Invitational, throwing down the gauntlet for what could be an intriguing autumn campaign for the Daiwa Major daughter. The Hirofumi Toda-trained filly went off as the eighth betting favorite in a small party of nine, with third-year jockey Miyabi Muto handling the rein.

Though only 21, Muto showed poise and purpose aboard Jodie, coaxing his partner out of the gate and setting the pace for most of the race. It wasn’t until Jodie came under pressure from Concrete Rose, the second favorite overall, midway through the final straight that she conceded the lead and crossing the line a respectable fourth, less than five lengths out of first.

Concrete Rose’s jockey Leparoux felt Jodie played a part in changing the complexion of the race, which was expected to be dictated by top pick Newspaperofrecord before the race.

"I thought (trainer Chad Brown’s) horse (Newspaperofrecord) would be on the lead unless they came for her, but I guess today they tried something new and took her back a little bit," Leparoux said.

"The Japanese horse wanted to go, so I was happy to be second and my filly relaxed beautiful for me the whole race. I knew at the quarter pole, I had a lot left. She made a big run at the end. It was nice."

Toda, naturally, gushed with praise for Jodie after her performance, which somewhat came out of the blue. Jodie has yet to win a graded race in Japan – she had two wins from nine starts, both by Muto – and in her most recent start, was coming off a 14th-place finish in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks).

“Looking back at it overall, she ran a heck of a race,” Toda said. “I thought she was very convincing. This trip is one we can build on going forward because it turned out to be a terrific experience for both the jockey and horse.”

“We found out she can hold her own up to 2,000 meters, won’t embarrass herself out there which now gives us a lot of options looking ahead.”

Muto, one of the most promising riders in the Japan Racing Association, said Jodie had been adjusting well to Belmont Park ever since her arrival on June 29.

“Probably the most important factor was that she acclimatized to the conditions here very well,” Muto said. “I also had the fortune of being part of an excellent team who offered more support than I could ever have asked for.”

“(Jodie) got off to a clean start and I thought she traveled really well. She began pushing herself from the next to last turn but the winner had us marked and got us in the end, which was a shame.”

Concrete Rose, trained by George Arnold II, held on for victory in 1:59.97 by almost three lengths ahead of Just Wonderful to collect the $400,000 winner’s check.

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Pro Tipster MAX - provides racing tips in the competitive horseracing world, with completely transparent wins/losses -

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
1 Ikkun Ikkun
17 Aug Niigata10R
48,170 481,700
2 aomaru aomaru
18 Aug Sapporo12R
3,120 308,880
3 Ikkun Ikkun
17 Aug Sapporo5R
23,690 307,970
4 Kiiro Kiiro
17 Aug Niigata5R
2,690 242,500
5 Kiiro Kiiro
18 Aug Niigata12R
710 184,100

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
1 Saramappo Saramappo
11R 184% 45% 73,200 32,040
2 Master Exacta Master Exacta
63R 183% 36% 52,030 4,983
3 Prince Trifecta Prince Trifecta
63R 146% 39% 172,610 21,832
4 ButaminC ButaminC
31R 141% 29% 40,790 15,376
5 Okabe Okabe
14R 137% 50% 3,270 1,710
6 aomaru aomaru
26R 134% 7% 88,080 170,440
7 Ace No.1 Ace No.1
57R 125% 36% 142,380 33,475
8 Kiiro Kiiro
72R 123% 31% 167,600 38,591
9 Ikkun Ikkun
72R 121% 5% 151,210 217,302
49R 118% 30% 76,070 32,864
11 Ace No.2 Ace No.2
57R 111% 19% 62,310 56,910
12 Creek Creek
24R 110% 54% 8,820 7,386
13 Shimoon Shimoon
72R 109% 5% 18,590 51,397
14 nige nige
11R 105% 27% 5,170 30,456
15 Joie Joie
53R 103% 41% 8,110 11,468
16 kiri kiri
72R 101% 19% 3,980 24,784
17 mayuka mayuka
66R 100% 60% 890 2,974

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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.

Just registering as a member (free) allows you to use the functions of the Tip Coliseum for free.

 Tournament Info:Tournament 158 is currently being held!(10 Aug - 1 Sep)

Tournament 158 Latest result

Rank Tipster Level
Deviation Return
cda5d4bd70 cda5d4bd70
86.1 814%
4145b53541 4145b53541
84.3 461%
Promise Promise
83.5 679%
e6683ecb23 e6683ecb23
81.8 463%
iso800 iso800
81.7 407%

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To Beginners
--Smart Ways to Use Umanity--from Racing Tips to Horse Racing Romance--

Umanity offers all kinds of services to meet the different needs of racing fans, but on the other hand, some people feel "there are so many services, I don't know where to begin." For that reason, we introduce ways to use Umanity according to the type of user. We know you'll find a way that fits you perfectly♪

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Does it cost anything to use Umanity?

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.

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Registering is simple--all it takes is an email address.
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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]
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-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
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Can I see racing tips for free?

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.

What is the U-index?

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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