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View Full Version : Nicking experts - please explain this to me



DownYonder
Aug. 26, 2009, 03:26 PM
I am just learning about this nicking stuff. I plugged in several matches to True Nicks and got the following ratings.

Stallion A - A+, variant 4.75
Stallion B - A++, variant 12.89
Stallion C - A++, variant 88.84

All matches are with the same mare. I gather that A++ is better than A+ (correct, yes?). But what does the variant indicate?

DownYonder
Aug. 27, 2009, 06:06 AM
Anyone?

Beaver Breeze
Aug. 27, 2009, 02:19 PM
http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/truenicks/pages/faqs.aspx

DownYonder
Aug. 27, 2009, 06:47 PM
Thanks, I saw that. But I am still not sure how to interpret my findings.

For my nicks, is stallion B or stallion C the better bet?
Stallion B - A++, variant 12.89
Stallion C - A++, variant 88.84

DownYonder
Aug. 28, 2009, 03:09 PM
All-rightie, then. So no one here understands this nicking stuff, either? :lol:

LKF
Aug. 28, 2009, 04:25 PM
http://www.werkhorse.com/products/werknick.shtml

DownYonder
Aug. 29, 2009, 07:01 AM
The Werk site locks up my computer.

I understand the concept of the letter ratings from True Nicks. I just find their explanation of the variant somewhat ambiguous, so am trying to figure out if an A++ rating with a high variant is more of a gamble than an A++ rating with a lower variant. Sigh. Guess I will get in touch with a bloodstock agent I know and see what he thinks.

tmo0hul
Aug. 29, 2009, 11:21 AM
I imagine that no one is answering you because the debate on nicking has been re-hashed many times now. In general, most knowledgeable bloodstock agents give very little credence to any nicking at all. Farms offer nicking because that is what many breeders want - not because the farms themselves even believe in it.

DownYonder
Aug. 30, 2009, 08:25 AM
I imagine that no one is answering you because the debate on nicking has been re-hashed many times now. In general, most knowledgeable bloodstock agents give very little credence to any nicking at all. Farms offer nicking because that is what many breeders want - not because the farms themselves even believe in it.

So you are saying that companies like True Nicks only survive because of breeders that don't use bloodstock agents? Interesting. A friend of mine breeds for the track and she and her bloodstock agent are always talking about nicking. I have also seen references to it from TB people over on the sporthorse forum, so thought it must be a fairly common practice with the race breeders.

beatsworking
Aug. 30, 2009, 10:01 AM
http://www.bloodhorse.com/special-reports/register.aspx?a=top-10-nick-myths-in-thoroughbred-breeding-webinar

Laurierace
Aug. 30, 2009, 10:35 AM
My pedigree analyst flies off the handle if I mention a werk rating. Her beef is they do not take the dam side into consideration when making their ratings therefore leaving out at least half of the equation. Which renders them useless in her opinion.

Las Olas
Aug. 30, 2009, 11:31 AM
I agree with Tmo & Laurie. Nicking is a pretty broad term, so I'm sure your friend and her bloodstock agent discuss it. However, the TrueNicks and Werk are very narrow in scope, focusing only on the sire line and how it relates to the dam sire. They are tools to give people some direction, but only a small part of what should be used when determining breeding plans. I put very little emphasis on those sire nick reports.

And, as an aside, I used to be Director of Sales for one of the larger consignment companies. I can say that I was never approached by a buyer regarding the nicking of any horse I was selling. So, commercially, it doesn't appear to have much appeal from the buyer's persepective.

Also, I bred a mare on an F nick once because the resulting foal would have a close cross of two full siblings. The resulting foal ended up being a BC stakes winner and a graded stakes performer. What's interesting is that this particular stallion had three stakes winners within two years' time out of mares by the same dam sire. If you look the nick up, it's still an F. So, the system has some holes in it.

DownYonder
Aug. 31, 2009, 06:53 AM
...the TrueNicks and Werk are very narrow in scope, focusing only on the sire line and how it relates to the dam sire. They are tools to give people some direction, but only a small part of what should be used when determining breeding plans. I put very little emphasis on those sire nick reports.

Yes, I realize they focus on how the sire line matches with the damsire, and I also realize there is far more to the art of breeding than just sire and damsire. I was just trying to determine whether TrueNicks places higher value on a high variant, or a low variant. Their explanation seems somewhat nebulous, and since no one here seems to know, I will see if I can find an answer through other sources. Thanks, everyone, for your time.

Las Olas
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:53 AM
I was just trying to determine whether TrueNicks places higher value on a high variant, or a low variant.

Well, I don't have a clue! I think I have a brochure from them around here somewhere...

ETA: Does this help?

It is important to understand that the rating scale is not linear, so while a below-opportunity rating will have a variant of 0.01 to 0.99, an above-opportunity rating can have a score from 1.01 up to numbers as high as 500.00 and beyond. Generally, extremely high scores are the result of a mating which has had considerable success with limited opportunity.

DownYonder
Sep. 3, 2009, 06:24 AM
Generally, extremely high scores are the result of a mating which has had considerable success with limited opportunity.

That is what I was thinking, but just wanted some clarification.

So in my example -
Stallion B - A++, variant 12.89
Stallion C - A++, variant 88.84

IOW, there have been far fewer instances of the nick with stallion C, but those few offspring have been successful enough to garner an A++ rating for the nick.

Thanks for the pointer!

rio2
Sep. 9, 2009, 10:53 AM
It really depends. This nicking stuff can be sticky. All nicks are not created equal unfortunately and it is very hard to say which one is better since both are not going to be equal in content. If you are looking at the variant alone, then: "In measuring the success a particular sire or sireline has had with a specific broodmare sire or sireline, our proprietary system compares the success of these two lines together against the success of these lines with the population as a whole. It then calculates the percentage of deviation from the norm, either positive or negative. That percentage is the variant, and that variant determines the nick rating....Any variant between +150 and +499 is an "A" nick, and we consider the vast majority of all "A" nicks as indistinguishable except by reference to how specifically the rating relates to the cross at hand. For example, an A+ based on the cross of a Darshaan mare with Sadler's Wells himself would generally be regarded as more reliable than the cross of a Darshaan mare with a son of Sadler's Wells. This is why we indicate what cross provides the basis for the nick rating just below the nick rating itself on our reports.....Extremely high variants are often the result of a small sireline population crossed with a small broodmare sireline population with which it has had success. This is a reflection of a smaller sample size and does not necessarily represent a mega-nick."
Also nicking and its value in the general horse market depends on whether you intend to race or sell. If you are nicking to sell, it helps to go back and look at what youngsters are selling for and all of their other information as well. There is a paper also out about how sire lines and mare line crossing (nicking) effects sales if you like it or can wade your way through it. http://www.agecon.uga.edu/~jab/Library/f01-06.pdf
:)

witherbee
Sep. 9, 2009, 11:33 AM
Also, if you need further clarification, why not call or email the TrueNicks webmaster or other contacts directly? They should be able to tell you how it was calculated...