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有馬記念を当てるために知っておくべき3つのこと

Arima

■1■必ずしも強い馬が勝つとはいえない2つの理由
暮れの大一番、有馬記念。3歳馬と古馬との対決でその年のナンバーワンを決定するのだが、必ずしも強い馬が勝つとは言えないのがこのレース。

その理由として、
1、シーズン最後のレースであるために、強くてもピークを過ぎている馬がいる。
2、コーナーを6つも回るため、展開によって大きくペースが左右される。
という2点が挙げられる。

1については、各馬それぞれ目標としていたレースが違うということである。たとえば3歳馬なら菊花賞、古馬ならジャパンカップ、そして海外の大レースに目標を定めていた馬もいるだろう。しかし、現状としては、暮れの大一番である有馬記念に目標を置いていたという馬はまずいない。よって、秋のどこかの時点でピークに仕上がってしまった馬や、仕上げて勝った馬は、この有馬記念には下降線の決して万全とはいえない体調で臨まざるを得ないということになる。中にはここに来て調子を上げてくる馬もいるので、そういった体調の交錯があって、あっと驚く好走や凡走が繰り広げられるのがこの有馬記念である。

2については、有馬記念が行われる中山の2500mというコースにおける特徴は、コーナーを6つも回るということだ。競馬はコーナーを回ることによって息が入ったり、ペースがアップダウンしたりするので、コーナーの数と展開の不安定性は比例する。昨年はダイワスカーレットが尋常ではないペースでレースを引っ張ったが、いつ超スローペースになってもおかしくない。つまり、展開の紛れによって結果が大きく左右される、荒れやすいレースである。

■2■世代交代が行われるレース
過去10年の年齢別の成績を見ると、3歳馬が2勝、4歳馬が7勝となる。成長著しい3歳馬か、充実から完成に向かう4歳馬のどちらかから勝ち馬が出る可能性は非常に高い。このデータを考えると、5歳と7歳時に連対したタップダンスシチーの凄さが分かる。いずれにせよ、有馬記念は世代交代が行われるレースであり、これからの馬を狙い打つのが本筋である。

■3■牝馬が勝ちきることは難しい
一昨年、ダイワスカーレットが驚異的な強さで勝利したものの、牝馬としてはヒシアマゾンの2着、エアグルーヴの3着、ダイワスカーレットの2着が近年では最高であった。理由は2つ考えられて、1つはジャパンカップと同じく、トップレベルのスタミナが要求されること。もうひとつは、牝馬は牡馬に比べて冬毛が生えてくるのが早いように、季節的に休眠に入ってしまい臨戦態勢にないことが挙げられる。これからも牝馬がこのレースを勝ち切ることは相当難しいだろう。

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