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

You asked, Alan answers! (Part (IV)

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: Who are the A nicks for this years Derby contenders?
Alan: Watch out for an article on NickRatings of the Derby contenders on TrueNicks in the next few days.   

 

 


    

 

Q: Why is Storm Cat such a success as a sire?
Alan: This is a very hard question. I've come round to the opinion that it is very hard to confidently predict stallion success. Obviously, ability, a good pedigree and conformation, are all pluses, but it probably really comes down to how closely certain important gene groups are cluster on chromosones (rather than scattered through the genotype), and can be consistently passed on. It probably also helps if a horse genetically and phenotypically fits a wide range of the broodmare population.

 


    

 

Q: What broodmare sirlines can work well with Epsom Derby winner North light by the great sire Danehill and can his foals be possible polytrack performers?
Alan: I imagine North Light (TrueNicks, SRO) would have the potential to get polytrack horses, as it seems that turf horses can be suited by that surface. They will probably generally be best suited by a distance of ground, as North Light stayed 12 furlongs well.

At a quick look, and leaving aside Australian strains such as Star Kingdom and Sir Ivor/Sir Tristram, good crosses for Danehill and that might work here, include most Mr. Prospector, Sharpen Up, Pleasant Colony, Alleged, Nijinsky II - although a lot of these are going to be very staying.

 


    

 

Q: What do you think off big brown getting a mile and a quarter?
Alan: On a quick read of his pedigree, Big Brown ought to be a sprinter miler, but he is inbred to Damascus and Round Table, two horses that stayed very well (Damascus won the Jockey Club Gold Cup when it was 2 miles). Given that very few high-class U.S. dirt horses really want to go ten furlongs, and given that he is racing other three-year-olds relatively early in the year, I think Big Brown has a decent shot of staying well enough to win this year's Derby.

 


    

 

Q: Is there a rule of thumb for inbreeding to the same dam. Is there any advantage to doing this?
Alan: It's questionable that inbreeding to a mare has any especially merit just because it is a mare. That said, inbreeding to superior runners or producers is always a potential positive. I suspect that inbreeding to mares is sometimes an associative rather than causative factors Mares and their daughters often get bred to the same sire or stallions from the same sire line, so when you inbreed to a mare, you often do so through genetic relatives, frequently a factor for upgrading. An example would be the important horses by War Admiral out of daughters of La Troienne, Busher, Striking, Busanda and Mr. Busher. Combining variations of them has had a tremendous upgrading effect on the U.S. Thoroughbred.

 


    

 

Q: How many generations do you use in your ratings?
Alan: TrueNicks is designed to try and find a significant result within the minimum number of generations, as the closer to the sire and broodmare sire we can get the more accurate the result. The maximum distance is 3 x 4. The pedigree chart does show five generations, along with inbreeding.

 


    

 

Q: what stallions in the US do you like best for turf?
Alan: Of proven horses that get good turf runners and who quickly come to mind include Kingmambo, Giant's C

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