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ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2017 This is the last in a series of four articles on the history of British racecourses and their struggle for economic prosperity. It focuses on Towcester - an independent, and a prime example of the diversity of British racecourses which add greatly to the charm and popularity of British racing. Jump racing at Towcester Racecourse is as different a sport to its blue blooded Flat equivalent on the wide open spaces of Newmarket Heath or its less aristocratic... Read More >

Recent Articles:


Staying with family friends in Chicago back in the 70s I had an early introduction to a couple of the world’s great architects. My host was an architect and a lecturer at Northwestern University and the Windy City was for him a giant Read More >

Echoes of the past The suspension of the Premier League and English Football League seasons and debates on the sport’s responsibilities around Covid-19 have escalated in recent weeks. Initially, football authorities and government faced Read More >

Originally published July 2018.  Since the rotating of shadows around rudimentary sticks planted in the ground, man has had an affinity for plotting the course of time. Different mechanisms, from sundials to pendulums and grandfather Read More >

Dawn no more than a sliver of grey light on the distant horizon. Darkness not going down without a fight. Shadows flickering hither and thither across the stable yard. Feeding done. Water buckets to fill. Ice on the ground. Puddles picked out in Read More >

Crumbling glories and graffiti contrast with sandy bays, tidal pools and wide esplanades in this thought-provoking walk The essential elements of a great walk include accessibility by train, good coffee stops, outstanding picnic places, Read More >

A writer introduces his three go-to reads – short stories by JD Salinger and Denis Johnson, and a volume of essays and reviews by Martin Amis For almost every author, writing fiction is not a commercial proposition. There are a few, Read More >

This is the last of four articles on how to develop an edge in the world of racehorse syndication. Previous articles covered The Trials, Triumphs & Tribulations of Racehorse Syndicates, Finding a System to Beat the Market, and Choosing Your Read More >

This is the third of four articles on how to develop an edge in the world of racehorse syndication. The first two articles reviewed The Trials, Triumphs & Tribulations of Racehorse Syndicates and Finding a System to Beat the Market. The Read More >

This is the second of four articles on how to develop an edge in the world of racehorse syndication. The first article reviewed The Trials, Triumphs & Tribulations of Racehorse Syndicates. Future articles cover Choosing Your Trainer & Read More >

The Covid-19 crisis is a tough time for everybody: family, friends, business, we’re all suffering in different ways. In England people are only just having to get used to living in lockdown and it is likely to last a few more weeks yet. The Read More >

This is the first of four articles on how to develop an edge in the world of racehorse syndication. The three future articles cover Finding a System to Beat the Market, Choosing Your Trainer & Bloodstock Agent, and Structuring & Managing Read More >

And while high-tech modern racing vessels can be seductively sophisticated, a classic yacht takes charm to another level   My absolute passion is sailing. I rather consider my 30-year City career a necessary distraction to keep me off Read More >

It’s time for another revitalising stroll, enjoying the stunning views and butterflies of this southern English isle It’s not every day that you head to the station and buy a single ticket to Lymington Pier. This is the point where a Read More >

Colleagues So I got the job at Hampton’s in Paris. The golf connection seemed to have done the trick. At twenty-five I was going to jump head first into a new life across the Channel in the City of Light. I could scarcely believe it and in Read More >

Pricing vintage comics isn’t just about scarcity and quality – the characters are the key to value “Comic books to me are fairy tales for grown-ups.” So said renowned comic publisher Stan Lee in a 2014 interview. And while there Read More >

As ecological fears drive big changes in motor cars, now could be your best – and perhaps last – chance to invest in an unethical fire-breather I don’t suppose for one moment that luxury and sports cars will become extinct, but for how Read More >

From blue-chips like Damien Hirst to rising stars like Sterling Ruby, these are the names whose values are on the rise The global art market reached $67.4bn in 2018 and has grown exponentially in the last two decades. Investors see increasing Read More >

So after death throes worthy of a B movie murder scene and with a Parliamentary Committee picking over the bones and extracting embarrassing platitudes from EFL and FA executives, it looks like Bury FC are finally gone – kicked into hell by a Read More >

In the second of 12 episodes, Oliver Ash recalls how Parisian geography got him all hot and bothered on the way to a job interview Sometime around the middle of 1983, I picked up a copy of Chartered Surveyor Weekly and opened it at random Read More >

Suddenly the alternative assets world has become much more difficult. Three fund management companies, GAM, Woodford and H20, have scared the little cotton socks off investment committees, prompting an outbreak of extreme caution. These three Read More >

A good walk is a tonic, but it must meet certain criteria – and here’s one that ticks all the boxes There’s plenty of evidence linking walking with wellbeing. It’s partly about giving the lungs a good workout and unleashing those Read More >

(Oliver is joint-owner of Maidstone Utd FC, Director of Brive Rugby Club in French Top 14 and recent Board Member of The National League.) Right now there is a heated debate on social media about the ill-health of many football clubs in the Read More >

How going online has restored the value of second-hand books As a book dealer, I would like to respond to an article published on the BBC website on 28 December 2018, ‘The booming trade in second-hand books’. The business reporter, Lucy Read More >

Challenging the opinion that only the wealthiest can buy Banksy art Banksy’s art hit the headlines in October 2018 when a piece of artwork self-destructed in the midst of an auction. Since then, demand for the anonymous artist’s work has Read More >

Never in my life. Will I again witness such moments of utterly magical sporting drama. If a scriptwriter had penned the conclusion to the 2019 Cricket World Cup, they would have been laughed out of court. And told to pull themselves together. Read More >

When I stepped out of the lift and onto the trading floor at Hoare Govett in Heron House 35 years ago, I am certain that employee wellbeing was not at the top of the senior partner’s agenda.  Whilst the stresses and strains of the Read More >

During 2018, classic car values as a whole rose by 5.9% (source Classic Cars). However, within the 1500 models used as an index there were losers as well as winners. Broadly speaking the affordable embryonic classics showed significant gains in Read More >

Shortly after 1.30pm next Tuesday afternoon, "The Roar" will signal the start of four days of compelling sport. 60,000 voices greeting the start of the Cheltenham Festival as the runners are sent on their way for the meeting's opening contest, Read More >

In our last article we looked at how Ship Owners were attracting financial investments through innovating their product offering and slowly catching up with the digital age. This commentary will now focus on the softer skills required in dealing Read More >

I had spotted them earlier, walking the sales ground at the Hippodrome de Bequet, La Teste-de-Buch. Two elegantly dressed men – swept back white hair, jerseys knotted around their necks and hanging off the shoulders. One pink, one yellow. They Read More >

There is no guaranteed profit in investing in classic cars and there can be substantial medium-term losses if the purchase takes place at the particular model’s apex of desirability, as we have seen at the classic car auctions over the last Read More >

The returns on most investments are purely financial.But some investments have other rewards. Buying art, for instance, offers the chance not only to anticipate what is going to do well, but to exercise your taste, look for something you Read More >

Today, one cannot mention an engagement without a clamour of requests to see “the ring”. A purchase many grooms-to-be find formidable and confusing.  There’s the cut, colour, clarity and carats to consider: the famous 4 C’s. The Read More >

There is a natural interest in the maritime industry. As children we enjoyed the adventures of walking the plank, playing battle ships and imagining the gold to be found from sunken treasure. This childhood passion of risk and reward still holds Read More >

Rolling and rushing and careering and smiling and pushing and shoving a little. The helter skelter tumble off the top of the stands to greet a winner. To secure that spot beside the Winner's Enclosure. To raise a hat or doff a cap. To applaud and Read More >

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, some wise folk wandered to the top of a Surrey hill and surveyed a helter skelter landscape of downland turf. There are quite a lot of flat bits across this gilded island of ours, but the wise and worthy Read More >

Investing is usually a matter of judgment as well as calculation. What will do well, and what will do best over the period you envisage?  Investing in books -- or art of any kind -- includes this element, but it also includes intrinsic interest, Read More >

Sport. The very fine margins. The difference between winning and losing. The moments that define a career. The moments that define a life. There has been an awful lot of talk recently about FOBT's. About levels of prize money. About fighting Read More >

In today’s fluctuating markets, investors scour for low risk, high return opportunities. These are few and far between, the most reliable being natural resources and bricks and mortar, which themselves can be subject to uncertainty. For the Read More >

The second Saturday of May. Percy Warner Park. First race due off at 1.00pm. By which time a huge crowd will have assembled. The infield strewn with vast pick up trucks, parties of young men and Southern Belles dressed to impress, seersucker Read More >

I have never done it before. I doubt I will ever do it again. I hope I might. But I have seen many 2000 Guineas fields stream towards me up the Rowley Mile, and this was the only time. So far. The only time that I have found myself applauding the Read More >

Grand National morning. Christmas, Easter, the first day of the summer holidays. All rolled into one for me. Butterflies. Many a time have I been at Aintree shortly after dawn on National morning. Dew on the ground. Horses pulling out for a Read More >

Welcome to my sport column – An occasional look at various commercial sides of the sports industry which ultimately deliver the live events we enjoy. The Premier League is the single most valuable cog in the sports industry in the UK and it Read More >

The answer is none of them... or for that matter, any of the other big names that have been filling the front pages of The Art Newspaper, The Telegraph or the New York Times for the last generation or two. Any art buyer or investor would be Read More >

One of the first questions we are always asked by new bidders at an auction is, ‘will it make me money?’ Our answer? The infuriatingly mercurial, ‘perhaps.’ Choosing a classic or collectors’ car is a deeply personal process, and for Read More >

This is the third in a series of four articles on the history of British racecourses and their struggle for economic prosperity. It focuses on Newmarket – the headquarters of British racing – and the growth of commercial joint ventures in Read More >

This is the second in a series of articles on the history of British racecourses and their struggle for modern economic prosperity. It focuses on one of Arena Leisure’s premier dual surface courses. Lingfield Park, a 450 acre estate set in a Read More >

This is the first in a series of four articles on the history of British racecourses providing a context for the existing economic status of the industry. The recent legislation that all betting operators including online companies based Read More >

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Investor's Notebook

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Recent financial news and how it connects across all asset classes

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Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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A sideways look at the world of wine

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Some of the profession's best minds

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What's going on in the auction world

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Reflections on estate agency, today and in past times

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Alternative assets

Investing in tangible assets

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