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Nass’ trial and error style seems to be working wonders for him

Author: Duane Fonseca


Either he does not like to say much or Fawzi Nass just prefers to let his horses do all the talking. Whatever the case, the Bahraini trainer and owner has definitely made his point this season. “It’s been so far so good for us at the carnival with three winners,” Nass told Al Adiyat as he prepared for the big night ahead by soaking in the action around Meydan’s parade ring last Thursday. All three of his winners at this year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival, Jordan Sport, El Chapo and Los Barbados were due to run on the second half of the card. Unfortunately, there weren’t going to be any trips to the winner’s enclosure with Jordan Sport and El Chapo finishing fourth in a turf sprint handicap and the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas respectively and Los Barbados going down in the long distance, 3200m turf, handicap by a short head after doing well to nick second with his late charge under Adrie De Vries.

Nass would definitely not have had much to say, but he would have enjoyed watching his runners punch well above their weight just like he has done. “We are a small operation and so far it has been productive. We have a small group of horses and we cannot complain,” Nass added. “Frankly I’d like to keep it that way. To be fair things are easier to manage when they’re that way; when you have a smaller number of horses. That’s why they’re probably in good form. “We have nine horses and four carnival horses, the others are not carnival horses and from the carnival ones three have won so far so that’s very good for us.”

It’s been a very good ride so far for Nass who had no family background to rely upon when it came to racing and worked his way up in the industry from just a love for riding horses. He acquired his trainer’s licence in 2000 and for nearly a decade or more has been shuffling between the roles of a trainer and a Director with his Nass Group, a company involved in construction projects in the Middle East. His racing operation, however, ‘small’ is spread out over Bahrain, Dubai and Newmarket in the United Kingdom. Nass is no stranger to success in Dubai and registered a winner as trainer on its biggest night in 2012 when Krypton Factor followed up on his victory in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal by winning the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on the Dubai World Cup card.

Krypton Factor also brought him his first career success as trainer when he won a handicap on a carnival card in January during that magical 2012 campaign. His first major success as owner in Dubai arrived in 2007 when Boston Lodge, trained by Doug Watson, won the Group 3 Burj Nahaar. As a trainer, Nass’ record shows a total of 14 winners so far, including the four from 2017/18 season, which has been his best so far. “It’s a long story,” Nass said. “I took my licence in 2000, so it took off from there. Before that I was an owner.

“I started loving horses from a young age from riding them for leisure and then it started with going to the races in Bahrain in the late 80s. That’s how I caught the bug. “We had no family interest in horses. I’m the only black sheep of the family. You have to be mad enough to be with horses. I like to be hands on with the horses because that’s the way I enjoy it the best. That’s the most fun part of it all. Otherwise in racing you get more disappointments than fun but in the mornings that’s where the excitement is for me. So I wake up every morning and live the dream until it doesn’t work.” Nass shuffles between his training bases in Bahrain and Dubai regularly, while spending his summers in England. “I train my horses in Bahrain as well as in Dubai and the season runs simultaneously in the two countries so I have to travel back and forth between Bahrain and Dubai.

I like to monitor the horses myself,” he said. “I have stables in England and a base there and my horses in England are trained by George Peckham. We have about 35 horses there most are yearlings or 2yos and George seems to be taking his time with them and doing a good job so we’ll see what that brings us.” Nass was disinclined to share trade secrets when asked for the philosophy behind his training style which has helped him reap rich dividends in the past and continues to serve him well. “I learned things the hard way. Everything by trial and error and so far I’m happy with where we are,” he said. “We’ve been coming to Dubai for many years now and the hope is always to qualify for the big day. It has worked for some years, but for most years it hasn’t. So we will see what happens this season. “In Dubai the prize money is very good so being a horse owner in Dubai is probably the best place for good returns on investment. It definitely works in Dubai.”

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27 Sep 2018
Issue Number: Issue 648
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Dubai playing a key role in British racing, says Jockey Club boss
Busybody Tadhg looks to scale mountains after climbing Hills
Nass’ trial and error style seems to be working wonders for him
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