Is There A Margin In The Margins?

Michael Kruse / 23 January 2020


This week includes the “wow” of CELLSABEEL and her stunning first up return to racing in Race 1 at Rosehill.

However it’s sliced and diced, with CELLSABEEL the best IVR performance of the day as a January 2yo we have a serious Golden Slipper contender!

And it’s the “slice and dice” that is the topic of this week’s newsletter inspired by Racing and Sports Adam Blencowe’s Cellsabeel “rave” column about her performance.

Racing and Sports article

Firstly a caveat! There’s nothing I find more boring in the media when someone in the media has an opinion about someone in the media and the media does clickbait like it’s interesting to people outside the media!

So this isn’t a micro-version of that! Adam repeatedly writes up really interesting columns and all types of stuff on Twitter @noverreman.

However prior to his column being published, when I brought up the margin of CELLSABEEL’S win to Vince early Monday morning on the podcast (note he’d yet to complete the Rosehill meeting assessment) he said things along the lines of “lots of things get said about margins”.

In simple terms Vince’s IVR platform measures the performance of each horse on the clock in isolation with no “allowances” or “bonuses” for the weight carried, the class of race, nor the winning/beaten margin.

How fast the horse ran is how fast the horse ran.

The more “traditional” ratings such as Timeform do allow for it.

One isn’t right.

One isn’t wrong.

Anyone who thinks there’s a definitive answer to this caper is kidding themselves!

So that’s a long preamble to saying I’m not nit-picking someone I have great respect for, but saying he’s inspired this newsletter and my premise there’s a case to be very wary of big margin wins!

My reasoning is this:

The clock (data) provides more punting value than the visual, as for instance a fast run/high quality blanket finish win under hard riding “looks” less impressive than a slow horse easily beating very slow horses.

The “base rate” is “everyone” can see how impressive a big margin win “looks”, but not “everyone” looks at how fast or not-so-fast it was in winning, and the market is based on “everyone”..

They “always” start very short, but unlike PETITS FILOU who was impressive on the clock as to the eye and easily won her next three races rising to stakes grade, they don’t “always” have substance on the clock.


WEST AFRICA the 9 length debut winner at Kilmore 12/11/13

Next start 4th at Moonee Valley at $1:40.

COSMIC FORCE the 7.3 length winner Rosehill 16/03

Next start 8th Golden Slipper as $4:50 favourite.

FURNACES the 6.3 length winner on debut Rosehill 25/10/14

Next start 2nd at $1:70.

MULAAZEM the 10 length winner Sandown 29/07/12

Next start 2nd at $1:70.

Small sample sizes sure, but a losing wager on each occasion!

“Racetrack” Ralphy Horowitz provides independent form analysis via He uses Vince Accardi’s IVR benchmarking service and together they do the Year Round Carnival podcast review of the weekend’s main races every Monday”

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Michael Kruse
Michael loves all things all horse racing and has been in the game for quite some time. His knowledge in the betting space is second... [Read full bio]

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