Australia’s Horse Exports Featured Image: ‘Noholme II’

Breeding the Australian Racehorse

Douglas M. Barrie: Australia’s Horse Exports

Featured Image: ‘Noholme II’

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In the early years of settlement all TB breeding took place within the confined of the County of Cumberland. Thereafter it rapidly spread throughout the Continent.

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Douglas M. Barrie’s The Australian Bloodhorse, first published in 1956, is a detailed and exhaustive study of the origins and history of the Australian Racehorse. The product of years of patient research and diligent study it provides an accurate and fascinating guide to thousands of our pure-bred horses since the beginning of settlement. The book fully encompasses and encapsulates the horse’s role in Australia’s development, overlanding, exploration, bushranging, romance, racing and at war.

By 1840 the ‘Thoroughbred Type’ may be said to have been fixed in Australia. The Arab influence steadily declined while the English thoroughbred was judged to be purer in type. Such was the importation of quality horses from the old world, and so favourable had the warm pastures of Australia proved, that by the 1840s thoroughbreds foaled and raised in Australia from sires and dams on Australian Studs were the equal in size, constitution and performance of their imported brethren.

‘Racehorses in Australia’ edited by Dr W H Lang, Ken Austin and Dr Stewart McKay was produced by Harry Julius and released in 1922. It includes paintings by Martin Stainforth. Chapter XI is entitled “How to Breed an Australian Horse”. It’s admirably succinct in making three major recommendations:

  1. A sufficient area of suitable land
  2. Shelter
  3. Artificial Feeding

These are amplified in the text, but they underpin the fundamental philosophy. Adequate trace elements and minerals in the subsoil, notably Calcium, are cited. ‘Sheep and horses are like oil and water’. Clearly ‘early’ Australia was well placed to provide for the ‘equine commodity’.

See: Noholme II (horse) – American Classic Pedigrees

Noholme II (AUS)

October 6, 1956 – May 17, 1983

Star Kingdom (IRE) x Oceana (IRE), by Colombo (GB)

Family 1-u

​A full brother to one of the all-time Australian greats in Todman, Noholme II lacked his brother’s sheer brilliance but was sounder and a better stayer. Of championship class in his own right while racing in Australia, he failed to come up to the same standard after importation to the United States and ended up beginning his stud career at his owner’s farm in Arkansas. The horse rapidly started getting winners from the indifferent opportunities he was given and soon earned a reputation for getting precocious speed. Moved to Florida and given access to better mares, he became a consistent success and perpetuated his sire line through his sons Nodouble and Shecky Greene.

Race record

41 starts, 12 wins, 9 seconds, 2 thirds


  • 2nd AJC December Stakes (AUS, 6FT, Randwick


  • Won Champagne Stakes (AUS, 6FT)
  • Won AJC Epsom Handicap (AUS, 8FT, Randwick)
  • Won MVRC W S Cox Plate (AUS, 10FT, Moonee Valley; new course record 2:02.7)
  • Won STC Hill Stakes (AUS, 8.5FT, Rosehill)
  • Won VRC C B Fisher Plate (AUS, 12FT, Flemington)
  • Won VRC Lithlingow Stakes (AUS, 8FT, Flemington)
  • 2nd VATC Caulfield Guineas (AUS, 8FT, Caulfield)


  • Won AJC All Aged Stakes (USA, 8FT, Randwick)
  • 2nd St. George Stakes (AUS, 9FT, Caulfield)
  • 3rd STC Rawson Stakes (AUS, 10FT, Rosehill)


  • 2nd Chicago Handicap (USA, 8FT, Hawthorne)
  • 2nd Orange Bowl Handicap (USA, 8.5FT, Tropical Park)
  • 2nd Stars and Stripes Handicap (USA, 9FT, Arlington Park)
  • 2nd Bougainvillea Turf Handicap (USA, 9.5FT, Hialeah)


  • Australian Horse of the Year (1959/1960)
  • Australian champion 3-year-old male (1959/1960


Noholme II was ranked sixth on the Australian Free Handicap as a 2-year-old with a rating of 115 pounds, 11 pounds less than champion Fine and Dandy.

As an individual

A compact, muscular chestnut horse standing 15.2 hands, Noholme II was held to bear a strong resemblance to his paternal great-grandsire, Hyperion. His shoulder was particularly outstanding with an excellent slope. He had a kindly disposition. He remained sound during his American campaign but appeared to have lost interest in racing by his 6-year-old season, when he managed only one placing in four starts.

As a stallion

Noholme II was the American champion freshman sire of 1966. According to records kept by The Jockey Club, Noholme II sired 329 winners (62.9%) and 56 stakes winners (10.7%) from 523 named foals. Most of his progeny were blocky, muscular, and small to medium-sized, usually with their sire’s excellent shoulder. Noholme II is a Brilliant/Classic chef-de-race in the Roman-Miller dosage system.

Sire rankings

​Per the American Racing Manual (Daily Racing Form) series:

  • 3rd on the American general sire list in 1969.

Per Great Thoroughbred Sires of the World (2006, Churchill, Reichard, and Rogers):

  • 3rd on the American general sire list in 1969.
  • 5th on the American broodmare sire list in 1972.
  • Led the American juvenile sire list by number of winners in 1967.

Notable progeny

Carnauba (USA), Fools Holme (USA), General Holme (USA), Hometown News (CAN), Nodouble (USA), Shecky Greene (USA)

Notable progeny of daughters

​Ali Bey (ARG), Crown King (USA), Pijijiapan (MEX), Proud Tobin (CAN), The Screw Driver (USA)


Noholme II was bred and owned by Stanley Wootton. He was trained by Maurice McCarten while racing in Australia. After making four starts as a 4-year-old, he was sold to Arkansas oilman Gene Goff for AUS$18,000 (about US$24,260) as part of a consignment of 41 Thoroughbreds purchased by the American. He raced for Goff in the United States at ages 5 and 6 and was trained by A. W. Beuzeville during his American racing career. Following his retirement from racing, Noholme II initially stood at Goff’s Verna Lea Farms. He was syndicated for US$1 million in 1967 by Goff and Goff’s partner, Bob Marks, and moved to Marks’ Robin’s Nest Farm near Ocala, Florida. From there, he moved to Lasater Farm in Florida in 1974, dying there in May 1983 after being pensioned earlier that spring.

Pedigree notes

Noholme II is inbred 5×4 to two-time English champion broodmare sire Chaucer; 5x5x5 to 1911 Two Thousand Guineas and Derby Stakes winner Sunstar, also a two-time English champion broodmare sire; and 5×5 to Orby, who won the 1907 Derby Stakes and Irish Derby. He is a full brother to Australian champion 2-year-old male Todman and to stakes-placed Shifnal, a successful sire in New Zealand. He is also a full brother to Greatness, dam of stakes winner Hamden (by Vibrant) and to Star Ocean, second dam of Australian Group III winner Pride of Kellina.

Sired by five-time Australian champion sire Star Kingdom, Noholme II and his siblings were produced from Oceana, an Irish-bred daughter of 1934 Two Thousand Guineas winner Colombo. She was produced from Orama (by 1924 Two Thousand Guineas winner Diophon), making her a half sister to Respite (by Flag of Truce), dam of 1953 Two Thousand Guineas winner Nearula and of 1958 King’s Stand Stakes winner Drum Beat, a two-time champion sire in South Africa. Another half sister to Oceana, Beausite (by Bold Archer), ran second in the 1941 One Thousand Guineas and produced five stakes winners including Missolonghi (by Hyperion), the English champion juvenile filly of 1946.

Books and media

Noholme II is one of 205 stallions whose accomplishments at stud are profiled in Great Thoroughbred Sires of the World (2006, The Australian Bloodhorse Review), a massive reference work written by Jennifer Churchill, Andrew Reichard and Byron Rogers.

Fun facts

  • Noholme II earned his 1966 American freshman sire title with just 14 named foals in his first crop.
  • Noholme II was the first horse to be buried in Lasater Farm’s equine cemetery. The property later became known as Southland Farm.