Just 60 years ago, the almighty dollar had been securing the best available breeding stock out of Europe right and left. With the devalued currencies of all European countries following WWII, the dollar could buy anything that was really for sale.
And it nearly did.
Among the torrent of grand animals brought into American breeding were Royal Charger, Nasrullah, Tulyar, and Ambiorix. One of the most famous as a racehorse and sire was the former Boussac stallion Goya (by Tourbillon out of Zariba).
In 1950, he stood at Henry Knight’s Almahurst Farm south of Lexington, and there amid the broad pastures skirted with white board fences, the highly tried and proven French stallion served books of premium mares.
As the sire of classic winners abroad in four successive years (1947 – 1950), Goya was among the toast of the Kentucky bloodstock elite, but today we see that he left almost no legacy among his American-foaled stock.
Goya was a highly specialized and perfectly tuned instrument for racing on European courses under European conditions. A leggy, high-quality animal, he was an excellent source of stamina and class. And his best offspring could produce very good finishing pace when racing a distance.
That does not translate directly into early speed and maneuverability for racing six furlongs to a mile on American mile tracks.
Of the five stallions mentioned above, the best were Nasrullah by far, then Royal Charger, and Ambiorix. They had the most speed in the sense of being muscular, powerful, quick from the gate, and easy to place in a race.
Goya, and to a lesser extent Tulyar, were more purely classic horses, and they were at a great disadvantage producing stock for racing in this country.
Physically, he had the length of leg and body needed for very good stride length, but he lacked the length of hip and muscle mass best for producing a quick turn of foot going short.
Goya was a good horse in a hostile environment, and it showed strongly when his offspring came to the races.