Melbourne Horse Racing – Proof Of A Slow Winter

Michael Kruse / 31 July 2019

Proof of a slow winter and a fundamentally bad day for fundamentals.

Still recovering from a SESAR induced coma from Caulfield after he just didn’t turn up.

SCALES OF JUSTICE who Vince Accardi stamped as a rising star back in November 2016 certainly did however, and his performance was the best of the past two months and a rare glimpse of genuine talent in what has been a very poor standard winter to date. (More below.)

And FWIW – certainly nothing financially – as good as SCALES OF JUSTICE was, his IVR figure of +4.5 lengths above benchmark was still well below’s SESAR’S PB of +7.0 set at Randwick October 2018, reflecting the latter is to date the better 1200 horse at his best.

I think the phrase is that stat and $4 will buy you a cup of coffee…

How slow have the slow horses been on the slow tracks over the past two months??? Slow!

We’re had continuous slow tracks and very slow horses this winter and it’s frustrated me to the point of wondering how right the hunch was, and now here’s the proof:

(With the unknown what effect suspended trainers Robert Smerdon and Darren Weir have had on the landscape. In June/July 2017 Smerdon trained 11 city winners, while during that period that year Weir had 21 winners and 23 last year.)

9 city Saturday meetings combined IVR performances:

+2.0         +3.0

2017       64             27
2018       53             23
2019        9              5

That is astonishing!

To underline that’s on Vince’s measuring, that in 2017 there were 64 horses that ran an adjusted (for the track conditions) IVR time of +2.0 or better, 53 in 2017 and just 9 this June/July at the 9 Saturday metro meetings, and when the bar was raised to +3.0 it was 27, 23 and just 5 this winter so far.

During those two years we saw serious performances from subsequent stakes winners MAGIC CONSOL (+4.7) , ROYAL SYMPHONY (+5.8) , VOODOO LAD (+4.2), BRUTAL (+3.7 on debut) and NATURE STRIP (+6.9) with the last three of those Group 1 winners.

It will be interesting if the old mantra of race fit horses beating better class stakes quality in August applies this year, given “nothing” has done much.

EG the bar is low for those without conditioning on side to return straight into the winners list.

Fundamentals took a fundamental beating at Caulfield

If you like putting long term winners on side – I do – then it wasn’t kind.

  • Theo Nugent was 1 win from 25 distance rides this year and won on TAVISUN with a perfect steer.
  • Ballet Master 20 starts since his previous win in August 2017.
  • Scales of Justice previous win was 1st of July 2017 and resumed at his best despite 252 days off the scene after two “just fair” runs last November after 350 days between preps.
  • Tshahitsi 2nd up winner after 490 days off with his previous win January 2019.

We keep learning…

“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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