Super Nomad had family connections to one of my favourite racehorses that I ever trained. But for a steeplechaser, which was the direction in which Super Nomad's career was to progress, you might be surprised to learn the identity of his grandad. In 1976 I'd trained Lochnager to win every Group 1 sprint, and earn himself the title of 'champion sprinter'. He proved a successful stallion, and his progeny often prospered over trips beyond what you might expect from a sprinter. One of these progeny was Super Sue, whose stud record included the aforementioned Super Nomad.
I have always liked to train horses with a family history, and the prospect of Lochnager's grandson was very enticing.
Super Nomad's dam was of little account on the racecourse, but her son was a big stamp of a horse. His sire was Nomadic Way, an unusual entire winner of the 1992 Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and a top class jumps sire.
Put away to grow into his big frame, Super Nomad started his career at Catterick in the colours of Mr Hughes in January 1999 at the age of four. Running nicely he finished runner up at odds of 25/1 ridden by Alan Dempsey. His next four runs showed little, including his first attempts over timber at Wetherby and Newcastle.
Seamus Durack was the man to get Super Nomad off the mark and in December 1999 he won his first novice hurdle at Newcastle. A nice touch was landed on him that day, backed from 10-1 into 5-1, but he was all out at the end on the soft ground. The handicapper may have had an eye on the betting market that day, and he got clobbered with a rating of 103. Super Nomad was however defiant, unaware of the mark he'd been handed he was soon to win again and he opened his account for the year 2000 at the first time of asking.
The market was correct again that day at Doncaster, when another nice touch was landed as Super Nomad was backed from 5-1 into 5-2 favourite. He won so easy that he walked over the line under Tony Dobbin.
Creeping up the weights, and each time proving he was getting better, Tony Dobbin was again the winning rider at Aintree in November. Rated 119 he had his share of weight and just held on by half a length to the rapidly closing Chief Minister.
We schooled Super Nomad over fences in the summer of 2001 and he jumped well. It was no surprise to see him win on his fencing debut at Kelso in November, Richie McGrath timing his run perfectly to take the lead in the home straight to score by a narrow margin. However, three weeks later on his second run over fences he took a crashing fall at Market Rasen. It seemed to dent his confidence a little, but he was back in the winner's circle at Newcastle the following February with a resounding win over two miles.
Super Nomad became a victim of his own success in 2002/3. After a change of ownership he was now running in the colours of Brian Hutchinson and David and Steven Dudley. The season started badly, an unplaced run at Wetherby on his seasonal debut when he was sent off favourite saw him trail in fifth of seven. This was followed by a fall at Newcastle and then being pulled up at Catterick. From then on consistency was the word, his form for the rest of the year reading 24223323 and the handicapper did not relent. Two further seconds in March 2004 saw him hiked to 121 by the time he was to take his chance over the Grand National fences in the Topham Chase in April.
Super Nomad arrived at Aintree with just ten stone and six pounds on his back, most of that in the shape of Alan Dempsey. He hated it. He was soon tailed off and by the time he'd reached the twelfth of the 29 fences, the Canal Turn, he all but stuck two fingers up at Alan and said he'd had enough by refusing. We tried him at Cheltenham two weeks later, which was also not to his liking as he trailed in under Tony Dobbin.
Super Nomad didn't win again, although he ran consistently and continued to pick up place prizemoney.
In 2006 his owners decided it was time for him to move on and give him the chance of a new career and he was sold at Ascot Sales, going into training with Lady Susan Brooke for her daughter to ride in hunter chases. He won twice for his new family, before retiring in 2009.
In all Super Nomad won six and was placed 23 times from 52 starts when trained here at Sheriff Hutton. I went on to train Super Nomad's half-sister, Super Sammy (by Mesleh), with whom I won three races.