Marking a Mark

Over time TrueNicks ratings do change, but it is how they change that makes it an interesting study.

Affinities can establish themselves quickly but the TrueNicks system requires certain thresholds to be met for the cross to be considered valid. This means that while it can take some time for a nick to establish itself, the actual success of the nick can in turn weigh down or depress a score. A good example is that of Unbridled’s Song (TrueNicks, SRO) and Storm Cat, a combination that has combined very successfully with the likes of Magnificent Song, Buddha and Half Ours. While this nick has done very well and established itself as an “A” rating nick, it has fuelled an extraordinary number of Storm Cat mares visiting Unbridled’s Song.

As the TrueNicks calculation considers all the live foals bred on the nick–failures and successes–it would not be hard to see that, if a stallion has initial success with a certain broodmare sire and in turn meets a remarkable number of mares by that broodmare sire, the score could become depressed when these resultant foals become considered foals of racing age and form part of the calculation.

We have, however, implemented some logic within the program to account for a successful nick being attempted an exceptional number of times (there are for example some 30 mares about to foal down Unbridled’s Song foals this coming spring alone), giving appropriate weight to the fact that there are the number of foals bred on the nick, but also giving them the appropriate opportunity to perform on the track to prove or disprove the efficacy of the nick.

A really top class nick should continue to outperform, however, and the Unbridled’s Song/Storm Cat nick got a new stakes winner on the weekend in the form of the Mr Prospector Stakes (gr. III) winner Noonmark so it has again proven its worth.
View the TrueNicks report: Noonmark.pdf

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