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Friday, July 20, 2018

Two losses,yet a great debut for young woman horse trainer

She had seen many a race before,but on Thursday when horses burst out of the gates at the Mahalaxmi Race Course for the Hyderabad Race Club Trophy...

Written by Shailendra Awasthi | Mumbai | Published: March 28, 2009 12:19:57 am

Nazak,daughter of renowned horse trainer Bezan Chenoy,spends ‘good first day in office’ on Thursday at Mahalaxmi Race Course

She had seen many a race before,but on Thursday when horses burst out of the gates at the Mahalaxmi Race Course for the Hyderabad Race Club Trophy,young Nazak Chenoy appeared very tense,and her usual pleasant smile was missing. But that’s understandable as it was her debut as a horse trainer and Enceladus,the mare she saddled,was running with a purpose. The race ended,but Enceladus just fell out of the fray near home and finished fifth. But that was enough to put back the smile on the 26-year-old trainer’s face.

“I’m happy with her performance,” says Nazak,who later miss a win when her second contender of the day,Theodoros,finished a close second in the Ferrari Plate race. But she’s not complaining. “I’m really happy with the way things went on my first day in office.”

Nazak incidentally is one of the most qualified trainers at the Mahalaxmi with having done a four-year Bachelor of Science in Equine Science from Royal Agricultural College,in Cirencester,England. The course involved topics such as horse nutrition,genetics,physiology,breeding and racing. Moreover,she has spent three years as an assistant trainer to her father Bezan Chenoy,who is one of the most respected trainers in India.

“I feel becoming a trainer was a natural progression for me,” says Nazak,who grew up in the company of horses since childhood. But she is quick to add that training a horse is not an easy task. Though working with dad was of a great help,picking up the different nuances in training was always a huge challenge,she says.

“About 90 per cent of the challenge is to pick the right horse and rest 10 per cent is skill and luck,” says Nazak,who at present has around 12 horses under her training.

She feels that being a female has a distinct advantage. “A woman’s touch is gentle and kind. And horses understand and know that. That I think is a women trainer’s great strength,” she opines. “Good horse sense is just stable thinking. If you love horses it becomes easy. You have to be patient,” adds Nazak,whose day with horses begins before dawn and goes on till about noon. After a four-hour break,she is back with horses and works till 9 pm. That schedule leaves her with very little time for social life. “That’s a small price one has to pay,” she says.

In future,Nazak aims to inspire other women into horse racing. “I want to make a mark as a trainer and want to inspire more women to come into racing. Through my work,I would like to show that they too can reap the benefits if they are motivated enough,” she says.

However,for now her priorities are quite pragmatic. “I want to find a winner first.”

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