A Day At the Races, Z/Yen at Lingfield, 9 July 2008

Mark Yeandle and Ian Harris duelling. Extracted from the Z/Yen website, photograph probably taken by Alexander Knapp

A works outing to the Lingfield races. Linda Cook’s e-mail to the team summed up the planning for the day:

Dear Racers

Happy to announce schedule for the race day on 9 July 2008:

Departing London Bridge: 11.48 – (we will leave the office at 11.00 or if you wish met at the station at 11.35, this will give us time to get tickets)

Arriving Lingfield Park: 12.39

Lunch served: 13.15-13.30

After lunch at leisure: First race: 14.10 – Last race: 17.05

Departing Lingfield Park and back to London Bridge (I have timetable for trains from 15.44, in case anyone needs to get away early.  I expect to leave on the 17.31 train arriving back at London Bridge 18.10).

Dress code: smart casual or in Mark Yeandle’s case dressing up like Rupert Bear is acceptable.

Jez and Nick, I hope you have entered the “form” onto PropheZy and come up with a list of winners for everyone.

Good luck.


As well as me and Linda, the circulation list for the day included Michael Mainelli, Mary O’Callaghan, Mark Yeandle, Nick Danev, Alexander Knapp, Jez Horne, Ben Morris, Jan-Peter Onstwedder, Rebecca Dawson and Mike Prymaka.

There are more pictures, which can be found by clicking here.

PropheZy is Z/Yen’s predictive analytics support vector machine engine, just in case anyone is reading this who doesn’t know but does wonder what PropheZy might be.

The day was summarised after the event by yours truly in the July 2008 Now and Z/Yen Newsletter thus:

Racing Events, Dear Reader, Racing Events

Z/Yen chose the wettest day of the decade for its works outing to the Lingfield Races. Mercifully Lingfield is an all-weather course, so the fun, team bonding and deep research was not interrupted. And deep research was at least partly the order of the day, as Z/Yen’s position on the relationship between gambling and financial services (see http://www.zyen.com/now-and-zyen/371-betting-on-the-future for example) is starting to generate real client work. However, the Lingfield day’s deep research mainly comprised fail-safe investment strategies such as “choosing the horse with the name I like”, “choosing the one whose jockey is wearing my favourite colours” and “choosing the one with an Irish/Aussie/Arabian owner/trainer”. Strangely, the bookies all seemed to think that these were excellent investment strategies. But joking apart, the day was a great success for all involved.

I think this might have been the occasion that Michael and I were both persuaded to take out an accumulator and were both in it right until the last race. Sadly, no cigar for me in the end but Michael did win “a Cuban cigar or twelve”. Still, that made the day exciting and is as close as I’m ever likely to get; I am hopeless at picking horses and frankly don’t much care for betting. But the day at the races is a fun day out for all manner of reasons. I do recall it being a very enjoyable and successful event for all concerned.

The photo (see top of the article) went on to be the Z/Yen caption competition that August, attracting entries from the four corners of the globe…well, including Mark’s brother Simon in Australia anyhow.

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