CITIGROUP managing director Basil Geoghegan proved his stamina when he became the eighteenth Irishman to successfully scale Mount Everest earlier this year.

But even he is no match for X Factor judge Louis Walsh, who was the last man standing at the Ireland Fund of Great Britain’s tenth winter ball at The Savoy on Saturday night, organised by Geoghegan with co-chair Zach Webb of JP Morgan.

Walsh arrived straight from filming that evening’s X Factor show – and was “mobbed”, The Capitalist hears, by scores of bankers’ wives demanding autographs.

For their children, obviously – which is also why Deutsche Bank’s Tadgh Flood put in some “determined” bidding to secure Walsh’s auction lot of two tickets to the reality show’s live final on Saturday for his teenage daughter, contributing £2,500 towards the £75,000 raised by the evening’s live auction.

Elsewhere in the bidding, oil baron John McKeon of oil investment shell Niche Group parted with a “healthy sum” for the flag Geoghegan hoisted on the summit of Everest earlier this year, while hedge fund manager Mike Maye auctioned off a stay in his home in the South of France.

Top of the lots, however, was a box at Twickenham on St Patrick’s Day next year to watch the Six Nations match between England and Ireland – DSM Demolition paid £11,000 to secure their ringside seats at the England team’s “revenge match”.

FRANKEL, the racehorse known as the Usain Bolt of flat-racing (above right), was recently valued at £100m after remaining undefeated in nine starts.

And last Thursday, Frankel’s owner Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia collected three further trophies for his overflowing mantlepiece at the annual awards hosted by the Association of Racehorse Owners: three-year-old of the year, owner of the year, and racehorse of the year.

Collecting the trophies on the sheikh’s behalf were Frankel’s trainer Sir Henry Cecil and manager Lord Teddy Grimthorpe, who were joined at the Park Lane Hilton by Irish tycoon JP McManus; Paul Roy, the former Merrill Lynch investment banker and chair of the British Horseracing Authority; and British Airways chairman Martin Broughton.

Also celebrating was Cenkos founder Andy Stewart, whose unbeaten racehorse Big Bucks won the award for outstanding hurdler.

IT HAS been friends and family of Jeremy King and Chris Corbin only in the “guinea pig” soft launch for their new venture The Delaunay over the last week.

But this morning, both the restaurant and the reservation line are officially open for business, with good numbers expected to turn up to see and be seen on the sister venue to The Wolseley’s first day. True to form for the restaurateurs known for their publicity-shy approach, however, The Delaunay is remaining silent on its advance VIP guests…