Esha Ness and his old partner summon up the void

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The Independent Online
A reminder of racing's most infamous moment comes at Wincanton this afternoon when Esha Ness and John White contest the Racing In Wessex Chase, writes Richard Edmondson.

Neither component of this partnership would have taken high order in racing's annals had it not been for a race almost two years ago. That though was the Grand National, and Esha Ness was the victor in the notorious void race.

Since then the winners have slipped gently into the background. The gelding has run just twice since and White has returned to his native Ireland to embark on a career as a trainer. From his base in Bannow, Co Wexford, White recently sent out his first two winners as a trainer and he now returns to Britain at the insistence of Esha Ness's owner, Patrick Bancroft.

When he looks back to Aintree 1993, White talks like a man who has been on the pyschiatrist's couch and been asked to expunge all memory of his most disappointing moment. "That's all a long while ago now" he said yesterday. "I don't think about it very often because it's in the past."

If Esha Ness makes it to Liverpool, for which he is a 33-1 chance with Coral, he will again be ridden by 35-year-old White.

The gelding will be an outsider today at a course where he last ran, 11 months ago, and the priority will be getting him round in the build-up to his attempt at becoming the first 12-year-old since Little Polveir six years ago to win the National.