Fresh, Fit & Far Out!

Michael Kruse / 18 December 2018

Last Updated on 28 December 2022

Fresh, fit and far out!

The biggest race in the country over the past week was the Villiers won by Sky Boy trained by son of a gun of a gun Anthony and Edward Cummings, which was our deep dive on this week’s Year Round Carnival podcast with Vince Accardi and I

Of interest was Vince’s take “I love horses coming back in trip off high pressure races”

As you can see above when we Sizzled him from his best of day lead in performance at Rosehill 24/11 he was flying early going +10.3 lengths above IVR benchmark at the 800, so even though the Villers was also very strong tempo – leader +11 on softish ground – SKY BOY was stalking the speed going +8.8.

Fast but 1.5 lengths slower than his previous race.

As others dropped off, he was able to cope, though note “hanging on” with just the 68th best last 400 and 60th best last 200 of the day.

Racing NSW

Without that hard racing giving him the rock hard conditioning he almost certainly would have been caught.

First up profiling

Conversely the best of the day in Melbourne was WHISPERING BROOK

As you can see below left, her best of the night win at Moonee Valley 16/03 was also first up

And for that matter we first Sizzled her in September 2016 when then Perth trained, but also first up and beaten a nose by Danny O’Brien’s Group 2 placed mare MERRIEST

She was starting just her 2nd prep with Darren Weir and of interest was pre-race the trainer was relatively subdued about her chances and that reflected the market move from $5 to $7:50

Racing punters love a conspiracy theory, but I absolutely take on face value what he was saying to be what he was thinking.

On racing dot com coverage I heard him say she’d need a perfect run/ride and that’s what she got from the elite Mark Zahra (as well as a non-brutal race shape) at just -0.1 lengths below benchmark to the 800 which note was more than three lengths slower than her first 400 in her Moonee Valley win, +2.2 in the mid race and +2.9 lengths above benchmark last 400 explaining the brilliant efficient use of speed from the jockey before winning narrowly.

It also of course is a great example of the “noise” that wall-to-wall trainer interviews generally provide which in this case was from the number one in Victoria.

If you didn’t back WHISPERING BROOK despite her terrific first up profile just because an interview put you off looking at facts, then perhaps…

Not so Sizzling seconds

Pretty frustrating weekend for the Vince Accardi (blackbook) Sizzlers runners with placings to ETYMOLOGY, FIVE KINGDOM, INVINCIBLE AL, MISTER SONGMAN, CRADLE MOUNTAIN and MY NORDIC HERO.

Hopefully “mean reversion” kicks in over the next week or so of a pretty busy racing calendar.

A reminder that each city meeting identifies the best runs of the day from an IVR data perspective going forward, but as you can see below right also can be handy information in future months with for instance MASCULINO. (And we typically drop the paywall within 6 weeks of the end of the month going forward)

This month December Sizzlers come with a $10 voucher back with purchase, or should you buy both Melbourne and Sydney, you’ll receive a $40 voucher back. (Meaning effective prices are $60 or if you buy both states $50)

Raffle racing

In its desperation to ensure the biggest fields possible as if that’s the only KPI that matters to its customers, Racing Victoria has now lowered the bar on city Saturdays to include Benchmark 64s.

While occasionally they’ll be a dominant maiden winner in fast time that may interest, race 4 at Flemington provided a great example of why if what engages you in horseracing is the intellectual challenge of doing form properly and trying to find a profitable outcome after putting time, effort and money in, these races are not only embarrassing as far as (lack of) quality is concerned, but simply dumb being involved with from a wagering perspective

A 15 horse raffle up the straight, and at the end of 1200 metres, there was a half length between the first 5 runners

There was no ability going into the race and none coming out of it

As the old martial arts saying goes, the best form of self defence is avoidance

“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”

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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