Well done to Epsom Racecourse and The Jockey Club for, yet again, supplying the media with the best bacon sandwich in racing, if not the world. Sadly, no photos.
There is only one Derby, and well over 200 years of horse racing have been impacted, if not dictated, by Epsom’s uniquely challenging 1m4f track. This year came with extra importance, as the meeting fell on The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.
Attending on behalf of clients such as City A.M, World Pool and William Hill, it was a busy meeting for Square in the Air, with a team of five in attendance across the two days. From drafting copy for City A.M’s online previews – see here – to managing social feeds and media relations for @WorldPool and @WillHillRacing it was all set to be a big weekend for some key clients.
One of betting’s newest initiatives is the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s World Pool, which brings together over 20 countries across the world for horse racing’s biggest fixtures, to all bet into the same mega pool.
The result? High liquidity across several mainstream and exotic markets, often leading to better value than that available with fixed odds bookmakers.
Our job? To educate the racing public and industry about World Pool, so recently we’ve set up and have been managing a new Twitter handle - @WorldPool. We created race day preview videos with internationally recognised pundit Graham Cunningham (like the below) and handled all posting throughout the two days at Epsom.
In those 48 hours alone, followers jumped by +300 and impressions soared to over half-a-million, which is a huge number for an account with just over 1,000 followers!
Square in the Air Founder and Managing Director, Bill Esdaile, is also City A.M’s Racing Editor, so it was a busy time for him and the team. Five articles and two podcasts were produced, including tipping the winner of the Derby itself, Desert Crown. Bravo.
Epsom was stunned by the brilliance of Desert Crown in The Derby, prompting the media to query what price he would be for the next major races on the agenda – the Irish Derby, King George, or even the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
We were on hand to distribute all the major odds changes and betting news throughout the two days for William Hill, including directly liaising with media in the press room, to ensure widespread coverage
The Jockey Club pulled off a couple of nice pieces of activity to mark the occasion this year. Firstly, the laying of a wreath at Lester Piggott’s bronze statue to pay tribute to Flat racing’s greatest ever jockey, who sadly passed away earlier in the week. Piggott himself was a record-breaking nine-time Derby winner, and both the wreath-laying on Friday and minute’s applause on Saturday were warmly received additions.
I have the same song stuck in my head everyday when I get busy and this might explain my madness but it’s The Hamster Dance. Good luck trying to not have that song stuck in your head the rest of the day.
Entertaining the media with a stunt for The Queen’s jubilee, a raft of current and former jockeys pulled on Her Majesty’s famous silks for a photocall and parade. It made for a brilliant picture that resulted in widespread media coverage.
To add some extra razzmatazz to The Derby, colourful (and loud) fireworks were set off just minutes before the race, causing a lot of controversy. I’m no horseman, so I’ll leave commenting to those who will know better.