EXCITEMENT is hotting up around next week’s Polo in the Park extravaganza at Hurlington Park – the brainchild of Daniel Fox-Davies, founder of the City broking firm of the same name.<br /><br />Fox-Davies – or Foxy, as some cheeky colleagues like to call him – recently set up the World Polo Association with the intention of creating a sort of “Formula One of polo”, with an updated rulebook and a bringing-it-to-the-masses mentality.<br /><br />But I hear the seasoned financier has grown so attached to his new sporting lifestyle that he’s currently mulling selling off part of his brokerage Fox-Davies Capital, in order to devote more time to his twin passions in life – polo and aviation.<br /><br />There are no plans for him to quit broking altogether, but offers are on the table to which he is giving careful consideration. With the thriving horsey business as well as two other sidelines in helicopter flying and commercial jet travel, who can blame him?<br /><br />Foxy himself is keeping schtum on any details, but he’s certainly sounding a trifle smug.<br /><br />“There comes a point where you have to think, do I really want to be a banker for ever?” he tells The Capitalist. “I think not…”<br /><br /><strong>RACE LOTTERY</strong><br />The top dogs at Investec must be counting down the days to the Epsom Derby next week, after announcing their headline sponsorship of the festival earlier this month.<br /><br />Of course, one of their own, managing director Bernard Kantor, has a particular vested interest in the race, since his horse South Easter won a Derby trial at Chester recently, putting him potentially in line to run at the event itself.<br /><br />Kantor had been hedging his bets over whether or not he’d be cheering on South Easter in the race next Saturday, telling The Capitalist at the recent Derby launch that it was “not his call” and that trainer William Haggas would be the one to decide. But after the horse impressed all in attendance at a breakfast event at Epsom yesterday with a gallop around the course, it’s looking more and more likely the Investec lot will indeed be forking out on a flutter to curry favour with the boss.<br /><br />“If all the English trainers are realistic, we have very little chance of beating the Irish,” Haggas told the crowd yesterday. “But you have got to have a ticket to enter the lottery, and he won’t be last.”<br /><br />Better keep those fingers crossed.<br /><br /><strong>OLD SKOOL</strong><br />Insurance giant ING decided to go all retro on us yesterday as it invited a load of City types and celebrities to play on a Scalextric race track.<br /><br />Naturally, there’s always a reason for such jollity, and ING laid on the track to launch a corporate hospitality event it’s sponsoring on 17 September; a racing day pompously named “The Circuit”.<br /><br />Pretty good the day will be too, hosted by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, ex-Formula One driver Mark Blundell and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. For a wallet-busting £2,000 per person, firms can enter teams of 20 to drive high-performance sports cars with celebrity team leaders including Gary Lineker, Damon Hill, Austin Healey and Deborah Meaden. (Plus, the cash raised will go to the NSPCC’s Child’s Voice Appeal, so it’s all in aid of a good cause.)<br /><br />But for the moment, back to the Scalextric and the inner kid lurking within many an otherwise sombre businessman. Barclays Wealth head of sports, media and entertainment Paul Richardson popped up to have a go, while ING’s own co-head of financial sponsorship Michael Lucas was also keen to demonstrate his talent.<br /><br />“I may not have done very well but I did beat Mark Blundell,” he beamed. “He crashed a few times in his quest for pure speed, whereas I was a typical banker, careful and measured…”<br /><br /><strong>TRICK OR TREAT</strong><br />Employees the country over must be cursing those dratted MPs – not just because they’re using our money to fund moat cleaning, building duck houses and second mortgages, but also because they’ve gone and made expense claims at private businesses even more of a logistical nightmare.<br /><br />A quarter of firms polled by networking site LinkedIn recently said they had lost money due to inappropriate claims, while another quarter had no idea if staff were getting away with a cheeky swindle on the side.<br /><br />Ergo, firms are getting draconian about receipts and the process will now take hours rather than minutes. Is nothing sacred?<br /><br /><strong>HIGH SEAS</strong><br />Finally, as we enjoy what might just be the start of the heat wave everyone’s been predicting for months, spare a thought for Rothschild corporate financier John Falla and Unicredit banker Marco Nannini.<br /><br />The intrepid pair are currently battling the high seas, four days into a month-long OSTAR trans-Atlantic solo ocean race – where I hear exhaustion, sleep deprivation and hunger are the least of sailors’ worries compared to the continual chafing in, erm, sensitive places. They’re currently 19th and 11th out of 31 respectively with a long way left to go, so watch this space.