Curiouser and Curiouser

"Curiouser and curiouser" cried Alan. The anomaly of widely differing nick ratings on an identical cross is a very strange one.

When TrueNicks rates Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks, SRO) with a Miswaki mare, the result is a "D," based on the direct cross of Unbridled's Song with Mr. Prospector-line mares, as there is insufficient evidence (opportunity) to rate matings between Unbridled's Song and mares by Miswaki himself. The top five horses bred on the cross include Silver Lord, who became a first time stakes winner at the weekend.

When we consider Value Plus (TrueNicks, SRO)-another son of Unbridled's Song-with a Miswaki mare, the TrueNicks rating rises to a "C" as there are some sons of Unbridled's Song who have stakes winners on the cross, improving the stakes production rate relative to opportunity.

I looked at the same crosses as rated by a competing product, and ran a hypothetical pedigree for Value Plus with a Miswaki mare: the program returned the mating as an "A" rated nick (based on the Unbridled/Miswaki cross), albeit on the basis of just one stakes winner. It might be expected that the one stakes winner would be Silver Lord, who is by Unbridled's Song out of a Miswaki mare. This, however, is where things get very "Alice in Wonderland."

Looking at that system's list of stakes winners from this cross, the only one we see is Awfully Smart, who is by Anees (a son of Unbridled) out of a mare by Black Tie Affair (IRE) (by Miswaki). So this means, were one to enter Unbridled's Song with the dam of Silver Lord, one would presumably get the same "A" rating; would be told that the rating is based on one stakes winner (something which I would think is a pretty shaky premise for a rating)-but the one stakes winner wouldn't be Silver Lord, who in fact is the only stakes winner bred on the Unbridled's Song/Miswaki cross, but another horse, who is neither by Unbridled's Song nor out of a Miswaki mare!

I think the problem must be that the system is not updated anywhere near as frequently as is the TrueNicks program (which includes new stakes winners within a matter of hours), and so is "unaware" that there is actually a stakes winner bred on the Unbridled's Song/Miswaki cross. This might be regarded as a serious failing, as, if you are going to rate horses on the basis of one stakes winner, it would probably be better if that stakes winner were the horse actually bred on the cross!

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