William Cash joins the Bright Young Things of the racing world in Sussex for the launch of the Fitzdares Racing Futures List
Spear’s was invited along this week to the inaugural Fitzdares Racing Futures Dinner, forecasting the most influential and powerful people under 35 in the global racing world. The dinner was held at Cowdray House in Sussex with Balthazar Fabricius, chairman of leading HNW bookmakers Fitzdares, revealing the racing power list at a VIP dinner in the Victorian Great Hall of the stately house that belongs to Viscount Cowdray.
Any dinner organised by Fitzdares, whose new CEO is William Woodhams, was always going to be a noteworthy addition to Britain’s racing social calendar and it was no coincidence that the dinner took place during Glorious Goodwood. Guests were spoilt with magnums of Veuve Clicquot rose champagne whilst being invited to open new private betting accounts with Fabricius so that they didn’t even have to leave the beach club style VIP lounge area of the glitzy new champagne bar at Goodwood. After being told of a ‘dead cert’ tip at the entrance gates by the wife of a racing breeder who has won the Kentucky Derby – a 9-1 horse called ‘Drill’ in the second race – the founder of Spear’s placed a three figure sum on said ‘Drill’ only to be left asking for a large whisky after the horse came last.
Balthazar Fabricius and Jake Warren
The Futures Dinner VIP guests included Tatler cover girl Sabrina Percy, Phineas Page, milliner Lady Laura Cash (recently honoured as ‘by imperial appointment’ to the Romanoff family), A-list society tailor Patrick Grant, Cartier’s glamorous events manager Emma Thomas, and Jake Warren, son of John Warren, the Queen’s Racing Manager at Highclere Stud. Other racing world socialites and young power players there included former jockey Jake Greenall, Violet Hesketh, Martha Ward, Lily Worcester, glamorous socialite Annabel Simpson, Tessa Pilkington and Georgina Charlton, and property developer the Hon. David Wakeham.
The Fitzdares Under 35 racing index includes a glittering collection of names that were selected by a committee that included broadcaster and racing expert Nick Luck, Amber Byrne, daughter of legendary Irish trainer Edward O’Grady, Minty Farquhar of Great British Racing and Balthazar Fabricius: founder and chairman of Fitzdares.
The list included such names as the Duke of Sussex, regarded as the most racing keen member of the Royal Family, Francesca Cumani, the former amateur jockey turned big-time racing TV presenter, who splits her time between ITV in the UK and Channel 7 in Australia (she is also the daughter of legendary trainer Luca Cumani). Also present was Hannah Wall, who is the eyes and ears of Qatar Racing manager David Redvers, with whom she has set up Redwall Bloodstock, with Wall’s aim being to make an impact on the Australian bloodstock scene. Trainer Harry Charlton, heir apparent to Roger Charlton at Beckhampton Stables and married to trainer Simon Crisford’s daughter, Georgina, was also present.
Lily Worcester, Sabrina Percy and Natalie Salmon
Other top influential names who made the cut include Lord March & The Hon. William Gordon-Lennox, heirs to the Goodwood Estate and, with that, the keys to quintessential British summer racing on the Sussex Downs; Madeline Burns (Republic of Ireland), manager at her family’s Rathasker Stud, which stands five stallions including the exciting first-season sire Bungle Inthejungle and aims to breed a Group 1 winner in the next five years; MV Magnier (Republic of Ireland), bloodstock manager at Coolmore, the world’s most successful breeding operation where the great Galileo, among others, resides; Oli Bell (UK), Racing UK and ITV presenter who grew up with racing in his blood as son of journalist Rupert Bell and nephew of trainer Michael Bell. He will no doubt be one of the faces of racing coverage for the next generation.
Jake Greenall and Annabel Simpson
The international and Arab racing world were represented by such names as Sheikh Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Thani (Qatar). He is the co-owner of Qatar Racing and Qatar Bloodstock, owners of 2018 Coral Eclipse winner Roaring Lion, as well as Tweenhills Stud and Longholes. He is an enthusiastic rider himself. From Australia there was Vicky Leonard, former marketing manager at Arrowfield Stud who has just launched her own company, Kick Collective. From the USA there was Walker Hancock, managing director of Claiborne Farm, and the fourth generation in the family to take on the role. From Norway, there was jockey William Buick, first ‘jockey-in-chief’ for racing power house Godolphin and the winner of the 2018 Epsom Derby, with Masar.
The dinner was where William Woodhams and his wife Annabel were married in a society wedding, so every detail was meticulous and the food Michelin quality. Guests enjoyed canapés including Cowdray rare beef steak tartare, Cowdray organic vegetable Thai dipping rolls, English burrata and crudités with Goodwood Molecomb Blue fondue and Champagne on the terrace before dining on Cromer Crab salad and Sussex Chicken Tagine. Champagne, wines, including a sensational rosé and vodka were all from Berry Bros. & Rudd.
Society tailor Patrick Grant and Jake Greenall were seen trying their luck on a motorised bucking bronco on the croquet lawn at the beginning of the evening. The key, Spear’s founder was told, is to clamb your legs around the bucking horses’s neck and ‘hang on for dear life’. Jake Greenall won with over a minute before being tossed off. But then he has competed in the Grand National. Spear’s founder gently declined the offer to compete.
Lady Laura Cash and William Cash
William Cash is founder and editor-at-large of Spear’s