Esha Ness Grand National Wins
- 1993 - ridden by John White trained by Jenny Pitman
The 1993 Grand National is known as the race that never was. Seven runners completed the course, and Esha Ness was the first one to cross the line. However, the race should never have been run, it was called a false start, but runners didn’t realise, leading to a farcical few minutes that confused everyone, and worst of all, it was on the biggest stage of them all.
Foaled in 1983, Esha Ness was not a prolific winner during his career, which made the loss of his Grand National even worse. He won five times from 34 total starts, all at a low level, and the Grand National would have been his biggest day by far.
|1995||Fence 12 - Fell||-||10-00||John White||Jenny Pitman|
|1993||1||£102,495||10-00||John White||Jenny Pitman|
Winner Of The 1993 Grand National That Never Was
The day itself was wild, and the whole incident, from the first false start that was stopped to the end of the race and the drama that followed afterwards. No one really knew what was happening for certain, there was a lot of talk about a void race, but nothing concrete.
Imagine how you would feel to be in the position of the winning connections at this point had they won? Would they receive anything for going around? Would they be prevented from being in a re-run because they went round the full circuit?
In the end, nothing was done, the race was voided and left without a re-run, so on one was able to take part again, and nothing was given to Esha Ness, who was the first one home. There was a lot of disappointment for connections, Esha Ness was in his prime as a 10-year-old and ready for the race, whereas they knew that anything to come in the future would be much tougher due to being older.
In 1994, Esha Ness didn’t return to the race, but he did in 1995, as a 12-year-old, but unfortunately fell at the 12th fence.
Esha Ness’ Early Years
The start to racing for Esha Ness was very uneventful, and during his time in hurdle races, there was nothing to suggest he would turn out to be a top-class horse capable of running in a Grand National. Where things began to change was when he went chasing, this different discipline really brought out the best in him, and we saw the horse in a much better light.
Unfortunately, though, it didn’t turn into big race wins. During his novice chase season, Esha Ness was second in the Grade One Sun Alliance Novice Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and also second in a Grade Two novice chase at Aintree, running well but unable to bag a big win.
Esha Ness’ Big Race Wins
The inability to win on the biggest stage remained with the horse, unfortunately, which makes his story from the Grand National even tougher for those associated with the horse to take. After running in the 1993 National, Esha Ness was sent up to Ayr to run in the Scottish Grand National, where he ran well to finish fourth.
A handful of other big races were tackled, with the horse running respectably but failing to get a big race victory anywhere.
The story of the 1993 Grand National will stay with those who remember it, for the confusion it caused and also the embarrassment to racing, given the stewards were unable to stop a race that went on for almost 10 minutes.
On the day, Esha Ness crossed the line first of the seven that remained in the race, but ultimately, as the record books show, he is not considered a Grand National winner.