Square Roots

Square roots: Ben Cleminson

Horse racing, Golf and kicking at the MET LIFE stadium! Find out what our Director Ben Cleminson, gets up to in his spare time...

25/05/2024
First question

Who are you and what is your role?

I’m Ben Cleminson and I’m a Director at Square in the Air. I work across all areas of the business, but business development is a big part of my job.

Second question

You’re coming up to 16 years with Square in the Air, what’s it been like watching the team grow from two all the way up to 50-plus?

As Robin Hutchison often says on my Linkedin anniversaries, “you’d get less for murder”. In all seriousness, it’s been an absolute blast. I was the first person to join Bill at the company in 2007, when the two of us were working in a tiny little side office at his house not too far from Stoke in Cheshire. It’s not quite the same growth story as bet365 from their portacabin in a similar part of the world, but we have an absolutely brilliant team and fantastic clients all over the world. Horse racing is a big passion of both of ours, so to have the chance to travel to places like Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and the US to write about or promote racing doesn’t feel like work.

Third question

Last month you had your first Cheltenham Festival runner (Rare Edition), tell us about the race-day experience and how you felt as he led the field for the majority of the race.

What a day. It didn’t end up quite like we hoped it would, but just having a runner at Cheltenham and in a race like the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was unbelievable for everyone involved in the Pay The Bill Syndicate. Some owners can wait years just to have a winner and Rare Edition has already won four, finished second in a Grade 2 and has taken us to both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals. You can’t ask for much more than that. He’s having a well earned summer break now and, if all is well, he’ll go over fences next season.

Fourth question

It’s the 2000 Guineas this week, who do you fancy?

You never know, but I’m not sure it’s the strongest of Guineas this year. Auguste Rodin is only 14/1 to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Nijinsky, and if he wins next Saturday he will probably be around 7/2 to land the Derby and St Leger. I think he may just take the first leg, and then potentially make history at Doncaster in September.

Fifth question

You’re currently learning to play golf, how’s that going and when are you going to be called up for The Masters?

I’ve been learning to play golf for what seems like ages, but hopefully I’ll be released onto the course proper soon. I do really enjoy it but you need time, and finding that is the hardest thing. I’ve got a very good golf coach and I’ve got all the gear - I just need to find the idea!

Sixth question

A career highlight must be when you made an appearance at the MetLife Stadium and made a field goal - tell us more about that trip and others you’ve experienced.

Yeah, it was huge fun. I’m just glad I didn’t post my first attempt on Linkedin though, as it was shocking. Kicking a field goal is harder than you think and my second effort luckily snuck inside the post. That was at the 2021 SBC North America Summit which was the first US one after Covid. There are some great events during the year, but I always really enjoy that one in New York and New Jersey. I’m looking forward to going back there next week, but I’m not packing my kicking boots.

Seventh question

Any interesting facts about you that people wouldn’t know?

Well, I was born with six fingers on both hands. They were removed shortly after birth, which was a shame as I reckon my 12-times table and piano playing would have been much better. David and John Lloyd are also third or fourth cousins but I’ve never met them. When Chris Evert was married to John in the 1980s, I certainly wasn’t shy about letting the kids at school know we were related.

Final Question

And a dealbreaker to finish, favourite race track to visit in the UK?

It has to be Cheltenham. It’s a hard place to find winners, but the atmosphere is just different to anywhere else. I’ve never witnessed a reception like the one Honeysuckle got after the Mares’ Hurdle this year. Incredible and very moving.

First question

Who are you and what is your role?

I’m Ben Cleminson and I’m a Director at Square in the Air. I work across all areas of the business, but business development is a big part of my job.

Third question

Last month you had your first Cheltenham Festival runner (Rare Edition), tell us about the race-day experience and how you felt as he led the field for the majority of the race.

What a day. It didn’t end up quite like we hoped it would, but just having a runner at Cheltenham and in a race like the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was unbelievable for everyone involved in the Pay The Bill Syndicate. Some owners can wait years just to have a winner and Rare Edition has already won four, finished second in a Grade 2 and has taken us to both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals. You can’t ask for much more than that. He’s having a well earned summer break now and, if all is well, he’ll go over fences next season.

Fifth question

You’re currently learning to play golf, how’s that going and when are you going to be called up for The Masters?

I’ve been learning to play golf for what seems like ages, but hopefully I’ll be released onto the course proper soon. I do really enjoy it but you need time, and finding that is the hardest thing. I’ve got a very good golf coach and I’ve got all the gear - I just need to find the idea!

Seventh question

Any interesting facts about you that people wouldn’t know?

Well, I was born with six fingers on both hands. They were removed shortly after birth, which was a shame as I reckon my 12-times table and piano playing would have been much better. David and John Lloyd are also third or fourth cousins but I’ve never met them. When Chris Evert was married to John in the 1980s, I certainly wasn’t shy about letting the kids at school know we were related.

Second question

You’re coming up to 16 years with Square in the Air, what’s it been like watching the team grow from two all the way up to 50-plus?

As Robin Hutchison often says on my Linkedin anniversaries, “you’d get less for murder”. In all seriousness, it’s been an absolute blast. I was the first person to join Bill at the company in 2007, when the two of us were working in a tiny little side office at his house not too far from Stoke in Cheshire. It’s not quite the same growth story as bet365 from their portacabin in a similar part of the world, but we have an absolutely brilliant team and fantastic clients all over the world. Horse racing is a big passion of both of ours, so to have the chance to travel to places like Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and the US to write about or promote racing doesn’t feel like work.

Fourth question

It’s the 2000 Guineas this week, who do you fancy?

You never know, but I’m not sure it’s the strongest of Guineas this year. Auguste Rodin is only 14/1 to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Nijinsky, and if he wins next Saturday he will probably be around 7/2 to land the Derby and St Leger. I think he may just take the first leg, and then potentially make history at Doncaster in September.

Sixth question

A career highlight must be when you made an appearance at the MetLife Stadium and made a field goal - tell us more about that trip and others you’ve experienced.

Yeah, it was huge fun. I’m just glad I didn’t post my first attempt on Linkedin though, as it was shocking. Kicking a field goal is harder than you think and my second effort luckily snuck inside the post. That was at the 2021 SBC North America Summit which was the first US one after Covid. There are some great events during the year, but I always really enjoy that one in New York and New Jersey. I’m looking forward to going back there next week, but I’m not packing my kicking boots.

Final Question

And a dealbreaker to finish, favourite race track to visit in the UK?

It has to be Cheltenham. It’s a hard place to find winners, but the atmosphere is just different to anywhere else. I’ve never witnessed a reception like the one Honeysuckle got after the Mares’ Hurdle this year. Incredible and very moving.

Get in touch
to find out more!

hello@squareintheair.com


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