The Nomad was with us since he was a three year old, arriving from Tattersalls in Ireland in 1999 for 13,000 gns. He was a son of Stayers Hurdle winner Nomadic Way. Nomad's dam was the Tremblant mare Bubbling, who despite being unraced was a success in the paddocks, her progeny also including winning jumpers Virtuous Circle and Effusive.
The Nomad was a bit of a thinker and not an easy ride, as a succession of jockeys were to find out.
We broke him in and schooled him during the summer of 1999 but he didn't begin his career until the following November as a four year old. He began in bumpers, being placed twice but then showed his temperament when running out on the paddock bend at Musselburgh. He thought he'd done enough that day and wanted to go home, I don't think running round in circles suited him and he needed more of a challenge. That challenge came next time out, tackling hurdles at Wetherby, but his first three runs over timber didn't amount to much, and despite being comprehensively beaten on each start he somehow managed to be handed a mark of 100. The last of these three runs was to see the start of an enduring partnership with our then conditional jockey, the exotically named Gino Carenza. Gino was a superb horseman and also one of the tallest jockeys I ever set eyes upon. He hit it off with the quirky Nomad and eventually succeeded where others had tried and failed, although it took a few runs for the pair to get fully into step.
The hefty mark with which the handicapper had decided to burden The Nomad seemed to spark him into life, as if he was going to prove a point to those wondering how the hell he had earned a three figure mark from three bad runs. As the penny dropped, aided by his new pal Gino, he took well to the jumping game and his career began to take shape. After finishing second three times in a row he went one better at Sedgefield on Halloween 2002 by winning his first race and then followed up at Market Rasen in November, romping away with a novice hurdle under a penalty. He completed the hat trick at Wetherby on Boxing Day. Gino Carenza had ridden him for each of his three consecutive victories.
The winning sequence was punctuated by a flop at Wetherby, Gino pulling him up when tailed off after leading for the first mile. The winning habit soon returned as The Nomad was victorious at Newcastle in April 2003, slamming Charlie Swan's 2/1 favourite Arctic Gold, again Gino was the man to steer him home safely.
In the summer of 2003 we schooled him over fences and he jumped well. His chase debut saw him placed at Wetherby, and then again at Market Rasen on Boxing Day. He looked every inch a future winner over the bigger obstacles. But unfortunately 2004 didn't start well, and after an uncharacteristic display of poor jumping at Wetherby he put Tony McCoy on the floor two out when in contention for the lead.
In March we put Alan Dempsey up at Hexham and the pair got along well. The Nomad won two consecutive chases, both over an extended 15 furlongs. After his summer break, he was to secure what turned out to be his final victory, this time over Wetherby's big black fences ridden by Tom Greenall. How he won I'll never know because he tried to bring the third to last fence back home with him, but Tom kept him on his feet and the pair stayed on well.
After his Wetherby win he struggled. A rating of 121 didn't help, but he also seemed to fall out of love with racing. Nomad was a thinker, if he'd been a person he'd have been very deep and complex, and while he spent his days in the field those thoughts seemed to be more about having an easy life and less about being a racehorse. He'd throw in the odd good run, and collect some place money, but this was mixed in with some remote finishes and when he got fed up he'd throw in the towel and be pulled up. We called time on his career at Market Rasen in 2008, and he went to my daughter Susan Mason where he would go hunting and run in a few Point-to-Points and generally enjoy himself.
He ran in three points, his form reading UUP. In March 2009 he unseated poor Joanna Mason twice in the space of a week, at North Carlton and then Charm Park. He was retired from pointing after being pulled up at Brocklesby Park later that March.
The Nomad started 44 times under rules, winning seven and being placed 13 times.