It’s blah, blah, blah for the Secret Racegoer at Ascot
“We are”, said Sky Sports Racing’s Alex Hammond “all set to bring you seven live races from Ascot. It’s a stunning day and some seriously competitive action.”
The stunning day was probably not in dispute, but the “seriously competitive action” was open conjecture.
The day’s card comprised seven races, all handicaps, with 55 declared runners, of which four became non-runners. So, we had average field sizes of less than eight runners, and only three races where there was a third-place pay-out.
There was just a hint of hype in the phrase “seriously competitive action”. But this was Ascot’s 13th annual Property Race Day, supported by an industry not unknown for using hype when marketing properties for sale.
The sponsors of the first race were Knights who are, they said, “a full services professional business with a team of over 700 professionals across eight locations. Changing the way in which legal and professional services are delivered in the UK is our passion. Blah, blah, blah, blah.”
They might not have said “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”
In an earlier life, the Secret Racegoer used to have to write such corporate guff. It had to be submitted to the marketing director, who would make changes before passing it to the managing director for more changes, before it went to the chairman who rewrote the entire thing,
It might just as well have started out as “Blah, blah, blah, blah”.
Anyway, the Knights Nursery Handicap saw five runners go to post, with the favourite, Eton College (that would be a nice piece of real estate) obliging, possibly getting the form comment “a compact, desirable property, with a lot of potential for someone who wishes to partake in an investment ripe for future development.”
Conversely, Kemble finished in the rear and could earn “attractively appointed, but in need of some attention to realise its full potential – conveniently located for someone with an eye on nearby Cheltenham”.
Duckett’s Grove, winner of the second, sounds nice but is in fact a ruined 19th century great house in County Carlow. Full of potential, no doubt.
Bella Vita, which took the third, has the ring of a semi-detached named after an Italian time-share which in no way is linked to a subsequent winner, Swindler.
Despite this probably being Ascot’s worst day’s Flat racing, the total prize-money on offer was £100,000. Or, put it another way, the deposit required to buy a nearby house.
A company quite likely to be involved in such a sale is Savills, who were another of the day’s sponsors. You might have seen their recent TV ads but, if not, they are:
“one of the largest multiple disciplinary property firms, offering a full spectrum of specialist advisory, management and transactional services across the core Commercial, Residential and Rural sectors to private and institutional clients seeking to acquire, lease, develop or realise the value of prime residential and commercial property.”
Quite a lot of blah there. Anyway, they’re estate agents.
What Knights and Savills were doing, along with five other race sponsors, was supporting Property Race Day to help children around the world by alleviating poverty and suffering, improving health and providing opportunities for education and training.
Since 2007 the day’s racing has raised over £2.25m for charity.
Hopefully, next year’s Property Day has a few more runners so that it’s better placed for punter investment and can build on what has so far been achieved. It could even become competitive.
More Secret Racegoer reports
Royal Ascot 2019 part 1 http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2bn
Royal Ascot 2019 part 2 http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2co
Sydney Arms, Chelsea http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-1E3
Saluting Enable http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2h2