Recently pictured at Royal Ascot are three men about town - the Old Paradians Bill Gibbins (1963), Gerard Walsh (1973) and Dale McCann (1979).
Gibbins, the recently retired transport tycoon, Walsh, the corporate bookmaking highflyer, and McCann, the Managing Director and founder of an aged and disability organisation, made the flight to be part of Great Britain’s most valuable race meeting, at which the finest racehorses this year competed for more than £6.58 million in prizemoney.
Also in tow was the tuna king Tony Santic, owner of the three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva.
It’s fair to say that the normally modest McCann rather relished the opportunity to namedrop when reflecting on his whirlwind visit to the famed horsey locale.
“I had a short chat with Tom Jones at the bar at The Dorchester on the Sunday night after I arrived. Alas, no photo,” Dale said.
“As for Ascot, this was an amazing experience, particularly due to the Queen’s arrival and the minute’s silence in respect of the recent events in London.”
Dale noted that three course records were shattered on the opening day “as these horses are absolutely the best in the world”.
“And while the crowds may not be as large as those for the Melbourne Spring Carnival, the atmosphere at Royal Ascot was extraordinary.”
To top it off, Bill, Gerry and Dale all “backed a winner or two” on day one (presumably to pay off the monkey suits) from the comfort of an on-course corporate box. “We didn’t leave the box either, as it was the hottest day in London for 40 years.”