IT SEEMS barely a moment since the end of the horseracing season, but the City is already gearing up for the bevy of racehorse auction sales coming up over the next few weeks, starting with the Goffs Orby Sale in Ireland next week.<br /><br />Racing buffs might recall that sellers at the spring sales teamed up to offer potential buyers a bonus of £10,000 if the horse in question went on to win a race within eight months, and they’re continuing the offer into autumn with the offer of adding another £10k to the prize pool if a yearling bought in the next few months goes on to win a race next summer.<br /><br />Mind you, ten grand is more like small change to those who are planning on actually buying a beast – like Marex Financial trader Lawrie Inman, who hit the headlines at the tender age of 25 for netting a £700,000 profit on a single trade.<br /><br />“I’ve always been interested in racing and I’m just fortunate to be able to afford it – these horses are certainly not cheap,” Inman tells me.<br /><br />Still, his stable isn’t doing badly – one of his horses, Monitor Closely, won the St Leger Stakes this year, while another, Coordinated Cut (named after the recent dramatic interest rate cuts by the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank) is the favourite for the Investec Derby next year. The boy is certainly adept at turning things into gold.<br /><br /><strong>UGLY TRUTH</strong><br />Talk about putting your foot in it. Not so long ago, one of the Metro’s restaurant critics visited City eatery High Timber and triumphantly dubbed the setting “one of the ugliest buildings to blight the riverbank”.<br /><br />Nothing wrong with that, you might argue, since everyone is entitled to an opinion. But the critic in question hadn’t counted on the fact that his ultimate boss, Metro MD Steve Auckland, actually lives in one of the flats in the same block.<br /><br />I hear architect Graham Lee, who has won a number of awards for his work on the building, has been busy hauling Auckland over the coals for the blooper…<br /><br /><strong>PETROL HEAD</strong><br />Web entrepreneur Darren Richards is a kindly soul, or so he’d have you believe.<br /><br />Word reaches The Capitalist of the propertyindex.com founder’s latest project, which is to “cheer up everyone in the property business” by putting on a smart little competition for estate agents.<br /><br />The prize? A weekend in Tenerife for a couple of lucky winners, involving a free bar tab at Richards’ three Canary Island bars, a stay in his luxury villa and a spin on his beloved yacht. <br /><br />It’s certainly a good ruse for schmoozing potential business partners, who’ll have to get to know their benevolent friend well if they want to have a chance of winning the mini break. Apparently, the multi-million dollar question is more than likely to revolve around a sound knowledge of the fleet of über-expensive cars in Richards’ garage.<br /><br /><strong>MATCH MAKER</strong><br />Ever wondered who banking bosses look up to? Well, according to a new survey by management consultancy the Gap Partnership, the perfect business negotiator would be a combination of qualities from different luminaries.<br /><br />In the mix are Dragon Duncan Bannatyne’s tenacity, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s diplomacy, Bank of England boss Mervyn King’s financial fluency, Gandhi’s calm, Tony Blair’s charisma and Lord Alan “you’re fired” Sugar’s resilience. <br /><br />Truly a match made in heaven.<br /><br /><strong>GAME FOR A LAUGH</strong><br />Lord Tebbitt always was a bit of a rascal, and it looks like he’ll be up to his old tricks again next month at a game dinner at City favourite Boisdale of Bishopsgate.<br /><br />The former Tory cabinet minister – known as “on yer bike” for suggesting during the 1980s recession that the unemployed should jump on their bikes and look for work – will be showcasing his culinary talents by introducing two dishes from his new book The Game Cook. He’ll also be sharing his juicy shooting secrets, including how he still makes a habit of taking pot shots at wood pigeon from his bedroom window with an air rifle. (Maggie, I’m sure, will be glad to hear it.)<br /><br />Tickets cost £75 for members and £95 for non-members, including a three course dinner with wine (call 0207 283 1763 for details).<br /><br /><strong>FAMOUS FACE</strong><br />It’s rare to get the chance to come across a full-blown movie star in the City, but film buffs should be queuing up to get a seat at The Importance of Being Earnest at the Bridewell Theatre next week, performed by KPMG’s Drama Society.<br /><br />OK, so movie star might be a bit of an exaggeration – the chap in question, Tom Russell, is actually an accountant, but he did once appear in the Harrison Ford/Samuel L. Jackson film Patriot Games, and has had stints on the telly in Casualty, Prime Suspect and Dalziel and Pascoe.<br /><br />The rest of the acting and backstage roles have gone to amateur drama fans at the firm, though Russell assures me the whole thing has been produced very professionally. No pressure, then.<br /><br /><strong>ACTION MAN</strong><br />The City always loves a good cause, so something tells me banker Jon Wright will have few problems raising hefty amounts of cash for Macmillan and other cancer charities with a 11,000 mile bike ride along the Tropic of Cancer next month.<br /><br />Wright, who formerly worked in international private banking at Barclays Wealth, is just 27 but has suffered two unrelated cases of testicular cancer, prompting him to take action to raise awareness of the disease among younger men.<br /><br />He and his brother Dom are cycling 50 miles a day for nine months, starting from the Bank of England on 9 October and finishing in Havana, Cuba on 21 June 2010 – visit www.tccchallenge.co.uk to support them.