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As Brent Fernung remarked in a response yesterday, Noholme looked quite a lot like his male-line ancestor Hyperion, a beautifully shaped and surprisingly muscular horse and one of the two or three greatest English sires of the 20th century.

Hyperion was the sire of many high-quality classic horses, but he also got a good many very fast animals like Stardust, the sire of Star Kingdom and grandsire of Noholme.

While Hyperion was absolutely top class at a mile and a half, Noholme was really more of a miler, which is a good thing for most stallions. That’s so because most horses breed to one side or the other of their own racing aptitude. A miler tends to be in the middle, tends to get fast sprinters from sprint mares, milers from miler mares, horses that stay a little farther from more classic mares.

The things that make a miler work better as a sire include most notably the ability to race the mile in top company. To do that, he has to have speed, he has to be maneuverable, he has to have guts, he has to have a decent or better cardio system, and he has to have enough physical (biomechanical) finesse to race beyond sprint distances.

In contrast, a horse who is a superior sprinter or stayer has to reproduce himself to be a success, and mostly that won’t happen.

And I believe one of the keys to the Hyperion/Noholme success story in siring lots of fast horses is that they tended to sire medium-sized (OK, small) horses with plenty of muscle for their size. That sort of chiseled block hindquarter is the engine, and on a small to medium-sized horse, it puts a lot of speed in them.

That is something close to an ideal for a really good sire, and after a couple generations of breeding a somewhat more classic type, such as Nodouble and his sons, there isn’t that granite block anymore. The result is more of a classic type, and that is the end of the speed, unless there is constant addition of very high quality.

And that is my conclusion about Nodouble. He was a more classic, scopier type of Noholme, and Nodouble was a really good sire but not a speed sire. Not really. One observer mentioned that his colts tended to look like fillies. Well, that is the tendency among the sires that tend to breed in a more classic direction. And their only hope is to generate absolutely top class because there is no racing in this country for horses who need 10 furlongs and further in this country unless they are stakes horses.