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Webinar Q&A: You asked, Alan answers! (Part I)

You asked, Alan answers! (Part I)

The Blood-Horse recently hosted an online seminar called "What Is TrueNicks," in which Alan and Byron presented an overview of the TrueNicks system and answered users' questions. The response from the Webinar audience was overwhelming, and the TrueNicks co-founders wanted to make sure every question was answered. Here is the first round of questions, with responses from Alan. Look for additional updates over the next few days. If you have not seen the free Webinar, you may see it here: http://www.bloodhorse.com/webinars/truenicks1/register.aspThose who have already registered may sign in here to re-view: http://www.bloodhorse.com/webinars/truenicks1/index.asp.
- TrueNicks Guru

Q: Roughly what percentage of other factors such as market and conformation do you take into effect when deciding on a great nick for a mare?

Alan: The TrueNicks rating is calculated purely on the basis of the percentage of stakes winners produced by the cross, as compared to the percentage of stakes winners produced by the sire (or sire line) which have starters on the cross and mares by broodmare sire (or line) which have starters on the cross when bred to all other mates.  


When I am planning a mating, I would give other factors, such as class, aptitude, commercial appeal, inbreeding and linebreeding and conformation, very serious consideration.




Alan: As far as the cross of A.P. Indy himself with mares by Lyphard and sons of Lyphard, it has produced less than 14 runners, and two stakes winner (G1 winner Indy Five Hundred, and G3 winner Delta Princess) who is out of a mare by Lyphard). There are four stakes winners by A.P. Indy and sons out of Lyphard line mares. A son of A.P. Indy who doesn't have runners himself, scored a B+ with Lyphard line mares.




Q: As it petains to the calculation of the variant, does TrueNicks differentiate between an open company stakes winner versus a restricted company stakes winner?
Alan: The variant is calculated using all horses that qualify for black-type under the rules of the International Cataloging Standards Committee, so are entirely consistent with the catalogs produced by major sales companies throughout the world. There are a lot of restricted races where the class of the winners are far superior to open stakes at small tracks, so picking and chosing results in a lot of anomalies. In general, we would also expect the same crosses to be prevelant, the difference being the commercial class involved. For example, Giant's Causeway has done very well with Mr. Prospector line mares, and so one would expect that his brothers, Freud and Roar of the Tiger (TrueNicks, SRO), who are in regional programs will be suited by Mr. Prospector mares, although they won't be of the same class as the ones covered by Giant's Causeway.



Q: I noticed in comparing several stallions with my by Sunny's Halo. In some instances, the results are based on Halo, but in others it goes back to Hail to Reason. If I use other nicking packages, the crosses are based on Sunny's Halo or Halo and subsequently produce a different overall rating. I am questioning the consistency in the data being provided. This appears to be be a similar issue that we experienced with the Sunday Silence crosses.
Alan: With a Sunny's Halo mare, the results will be based on Sunny's Halo, Halo or Hail to Reason, depending at what point there have been enough stakes winners or starters by the sire (or from the sire line) bred on the cross to give a significant answer.

Some other rating systems have made a choice to arbitrarily cut off the process at a specific ancestor. We have elected not to do this, as it seems a major presumption that, just because Halo becomes a well-know sire or broodmare sire, to assume that he exerts a radically different genetic influence than Hail to Reason, where far less well-know stallions - who could be more different in genetic terms - are treated as "Hail to Reason sons."

You mention Sunday Silence (by Halo). This is a good example of the arbitrariness and inconsistency that can arise. One major nicking program had made Sunday Silence a different entity to Halo (meaning that they didn't go back past Sunday Silence in calculating a nick). They then didn't like the answers they were getting for Sunday Silence sons in the U.S., and pubically reversed themselves, removing Sunday Silence as a "stopper.

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