The Register - May Edition

Welcome to the May edition of Favourbrook's Register, where we have a decidedly equine appeal, garnished with some warbling operatic elements. With Royal Ascot a little over a month away, we look at how the perfect morning suit should fit, as well as where to stay if you don't fancy schlepping up to Berkshire on the train or are lucky enough to be attending more than one day.

If you are looking forward to having a flutter at the races, then suffice to say that while you hope you may come out on top, you recognise that the chances are slim. That was not the case for Bill Benter, an American mathematician and professional gambler who made close to $1 billion betting on horse races. His story is wild and worth a read whether you gamble or not.

Finally, we switch venues, hopping up to the stunning Wormsley estate for the Garsington Opera, one of the highlights of the season and a perfect opportunity to dress to the nines. We explore the options for ladies look to make a chic impression.

How should a morning suit fit

If Royal Ascot is on the cards for you this June, or perhaps you have a formal wedding to attend, then you're going to need a morning suit. And while you might hope that buying one is the same as buying an off-the-peg business suit, there are subtle differences that one needs to be aware of, especially when it comes to the dimensions of the jacket. This article will answer all of your questions and guarantee that when you come to try on some morning suit styles, you know exactly what you're looking for.

 Black Hampton Barathea Wool Morning Coat

Black Hampton Barathea
Wool Morning Coat

Chesham Black Morning Coat

Chesham Black
Morning Coat

Navy Furlong Wool Morning Coat

Navy Furlong Wool
Morning Coat


What to wear to Garsington Opera

Garsington Opera is fast-becoming one of the highlights of the season, with an exemplary operatic schedule running throughout the summer. Situated in the idyllic Wormsley near High Wycombe, Garsington is home to world-class opera and is most definitely giving Glyndebourne a run for its money in recent years. We look at the dress code and what visitors should be wearing to ensure they look the part. 

 Westminster Coat Mint Jekyll Crease Resist Linen

Westminster Coat Mint
Jekyll Crease Resist Linen

Westminster Coat Yellow Vincenzo Jacquard Silk Organza

Westminster Coat Yellow
Vincenzo Jacquard Silk Organza

Westminster Coat Plum Fiddlehead Crease Resist Linen

Westminster Coat Plum Fiddlehead
Crease Resist Linen

Where to stay in Ascot

With Royal Ascot fast approaching (Tuesday 14th - Saturday 18th June 2022), you may wish to make a short trip out of it, rather than to-and-fro from London or elsewhere. Hence we've highlighted a trio of hotels right on the racecourse doorstep just in case that 50-1 outsider comes home and you have a spot too much celebratory champagne to even consider getting the train back to London!

Coworth Park - Dorchester Collection

Easily the gem of stays for Royal Ascot, Coworth Park is 5* bliss set within 240 acres of picturesque parkland. The royal connections go as far back as 1066 when Edward the Confessor, the last Saxon king of England, gave the land on which the hotel now stands to Westminster Abbey. The land was later repossessed by William the Conqueror for the crown. The Prince and Princess of Wales, the future Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, stayed at Coworth Park in 1879 and 1883 when they attended the races at nearby Ascot. It as since passed through the hands of Lord Stanley, who became the 17th Earl of Derby, as well as Galen Weston, the owner of Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason who created a polo field. It was in 2010 that the house was restored as part of the Dorchester collection and is now the pinnacle of luxury when attending Royal Ascot.

Royal Berkshire Hotel

The Royal Berkshire Hotel is a beautiful red-brick country house set amidst equally stunning grounds, and on the doorstep of Ascot Racecourse. Tranquil, picturesque and the perfect place to prepare yourself for race day, the hotel's Ascot suites have prime viewing of the gardens and ample well-designed space to try on all of your outfits!

Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa

A two-minute drive to Ascot Racecourse (or a 25-minute crawl back after a day on the bubbles), Berystede's main building is Grade II-listed, dating back to the 18th century, and has been filled with antique furniture and equine-inspired artworks, all enveloped by beautiful landscaped gardens. The spa and fitness area is extensive (including plenty of Elemis treatments should you need some post-race rehab). 

The Algorithmic Punter Who Was Always a Nose Ahead

Gambling is a mug's game, they say, and especially the horses. Far too many variables to be able to accurately predict the outcome of a single race. Horses are fickle animals, and losing gamblers might be wont to say jockeys are too. No one told Bill Benter that, or if they did, the mathematician wouldn't have listened anyway. Benter made close to $1billion betting on the horses throughout the 90s using an intricate algorithmic model that tracked more than 120 variables per horse, and was a pioneer in modelling the probabilities for sporting events. This remarkable story on Bloomberg is a must-read if you like a dabble at the races or was a glimpse of what it was like at the sharp end of the gambling wild west.