Horse Racing: I'M CHOKED I DON'T HAVE A HENNESSY ON MY CV; THE LEGENDARY CHAMPION JOCKEY WRITES EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE MIRROR.
ASK most racing folk when the Jumps season truly starts and they will say Hennessy Gold Cup day.
Today's the day, and while a few months removed from the official opening of the season, it is a great focal point.
While the mere mention of the race doesn't make me wince, it is one of those races that eluded me. While it is not quite right up there with the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Scottish National, it would have been nice to have had the Hennessy on my CV.
I used to love riding in the extended three-and-a-quarter mile chase, because not only is it such a prestigious race, it is also run at Newbury, which is a very fair course. The closest I came to winning was on Brown Windsor in 1989. We were the favourites that day, but even now I have nightmares about it, as Hywell Davies and Ghofar - to whom we conceded over a stone - swept past up the run-in to win by neck.
That was a decent renewal, contested by such good horses as Durham Edition and Mr Frisk.
To say I wasn't pleased is a bit like saying AP McCoy has ridden the odd winner. I was also second again in 1994, when Lord Relic was beaten by the then-six-year-old One Man - carrying only 10st - and Tony Dobbin. That was no disgrace.
I'VE never been one to get cold feet. Just as well really. Having left the Russian scientific base of Novolareveskya after a twoday preparation camp to try to acclimatize to the severe Antarctic weather, myself, Doug Stoop and James Fox will today embark on our unsupported expedition to the South Pole.
At around noon, we will be approximately 650 miles from civilization on the Filchner Ice Shelf.
From there we will ski the remaining 650 miles to the Geographic South Pole, sleeping in tents and eating dehydrated food as we tackle a route that has never been conquered before.
The starting point is near 80 degrees South. I am apprehensive, because the first couple of weeks will be hard. Dragging a 250lb sled uphill and climbing to 9,300ft is going to be really tough, but it is not too cold - around minus 40 degrees!
There will be 24 hours of daylight, so we should ski between 10 and 14 hours a day and reach our goal in approximately 62 days. Wish us luck.
Check out: www.dunwoody-southpole.com
RICHARD DUNWOODY FREE TO JOIN DIAMOND BEST CLUB CALL FREEPHONE 0800 1 07 07 08
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2007|
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