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One of the great strikes of the 1960s and 1970s in racing and breeding was Gene Goff’s mad run of success with his Australian import Noholme, whom Goff stood at his Verna Lea Farm in Arkansas and later in Florida.

A two years’ younger full brother to the great Australian racer Todman, Noholme (ch h 1956 by Star Kingdom x Oceana, by Colombo) was pretty useful in Australia, winning the Cox Plate, then was fair-to-middling with his racing form in the US.

Noholme’s best results from American racing were seconds in the Stars and Stripes Handicap, Bougainvillea Turf Handicap, and Chicago Handicap. The form of those efforts was far from the kind that set the likes of Leslie Combs to climbing over shrubberies to shake an owner’s hand and ask to stand his horse.

Instead, Noholme went to stud with nobody but Goff believing in him. Fortunately for Noholme, Goff was an oilman, had plenty of cash, and had enough sense to get good people to pick out enough quick, tough mares that gave his stallion a fair chance at stud.

That was all Noholme needed. He sired winners right and left, and among the better stock he got were champions Nodouble and Shecky Greene.

Both were immoderately good horses, and for a time, it appeared that Noholme was going to do what a handful of other fine stallions had not quite managed: to found a sustainable Hyperion line in America. While the likes of Khaled, Alibhai, and Heliopolis gave it a good shot, none had carried on.

But Noholme’s sons, especially the Arkansas Traveler (Nodouble), did honorable service at stud. Nodouble even managed to win the general sire title and grab an elevated status late in life with a move to Kentucky to stand at Three Chimneys Farm.

But Nodouble was no sire of stallions. They were rank failures.

Why did he and the other sons of Noholme flop in the second generation? Tomorrow, I will take a stab at an answer.

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