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Reader Q&A: Cost vs. Quality

Question: My question is whether there a much greater risk factor when considering between two stallions that differ in the fact that one has many proven mares and was a very good performer himself, while the other is a young stallion that is well-bred but has never raced because of an injury, and doesn't yet have a large number of offspring? The two stallions give a similar nick rating. I have a case like this where I'm trying to make a decision about cost vs quality. I should mention the tried and proven stallion is quite a bit more expensive of course. - Garrie

Alan's response: Hi Garrie. Thank you for the question. The thing to understand about nick ratings is that they are purely an historic measure of affinity between the sire and broodmare sire, or sire line and broodmare sire line. So, it would be possible get the same nick rating for a mating involving a champion or his modestly-performed full brother (assuming the champion himself had not had runners on the cross). In this case, and assuming that both were an equally good fit physically, one would expect the champion to be the better choice (there are examples where the lesser performed brother has been the better sire, such as with Vice Regent/Viceregal and Saint Ballado/Devil's Bag, but in general, one would want the better runner of the pair). In general the potential of a mating is a function of class (of the sire and dam as runners and producers) and affinity (both from a pedigree and physical standpoint). Ideally, one would aim for the highest level with both aspects. In your specific case, all over things be equal, it is likely that the proven horse will be the better bet, assuming he is cost-appropriate.

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