The Queen’s Cup Leagues are in the final stages and there have been a few surprises and lots of close games in pretty wet conditions.
The playing surfaces have been amazing for the horses despite the deluges over the past 10 days, but they are inevitably getting a hammering and now they are not so easy to control the ball on.This gives more balanced teams an easier task and also has an effect on the tactics employed.
Talking of tactics, most of the high goal sides have professional coaches nowadays and as part of the technological evolution, there is now an app that can be downloaded and used in conjunction with Dartfish .
It can break down play into various sections, such as goals scored, fouls committed, hit-ins, throw-ins and other vital statistics. This programme is only just being born, but it can include slow motions of penalties and help the technique with all the shots.
Fox and Hounds — the all pro British team — has been a turn up for the books. They have played outstandingly as a team and there is all to play for in this last week as the final games are played out.
The sides that are looking strong, as always, are Zacara, El Remanso and Dubai. In our league it is difficult to say what the outcome will be, but Talandracas’s amazing win over UAE has brought them back into the fold and UAE have also proved to be very strong.
Other teams that are very good on paper have had a tough start either due to competitive leagues and or injuries to players throwing the team cohesion out of sync. Aravali and Twelve Oaks have yet to find form.
It would take a brave man to bet on a winner at this stage with so many teams playing to such a high standard, so the last stages will be as exciting as ever.
Last weekend saw the finals of the Duke of Sutherland and the Arthur Lucas Cups at the 18- and 15-goal level.
Congratulations to Dell Park who won the Arthur Lucas on the Saturday at Beaufort and the Duke of Sutherland 18-goal at Cowdray on the Sunday. That is a pretty impressive double for Nicolai Bahlsen, Richie Le Poer and Max Charlton.
The Royal Windsor is already under way and this will produce some excellent games at the medium-goal level.
Audi also had their big days at Coworth Park, with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry making their debut this season. It always amazes me how naturally well they play after months without stick and balling or riding.
Looking forward to the next test match at the Beaufort Polo Club near Tetbury, on 21 June, England take on the Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club team of John Paul Clarkin, Guillermo Terrera John Fisher and Luis Lalor (Snr).
The English team has been selected as James Harper, Max Charlton, George Meyrick and Max Routledge.
The event will be well attended and is combined with a charity weekend with tradestands and lots of entertainment for the whole family.