Eight of the best polo teams in the world will converge in Dubai for the second edition of the Threadneedle Dubai Polo Gold Cup Tournament to be held in the first quarter of 2011.
Following the huge success of the inaugural edition last year, this year's competition will see the addition of two more teams who will vie for the top honours at the lavish grounds of the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club.
For the second straight year, the tournament is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
This competition was a huge hit on Dubai's polo calendar last year with six of the best teams participating. Last year's 1st Threadneedle Dubai Polo Gold Cup was won by the Mahra Polo Team with a 5-4 win against Gulfwings/Sumaya in an exciting final. After the huge success of the first Dubai Polo Gold Cup, Threadneedle has decided to sign again to be the title sponsor.
Played before a packed holiday crowd of over 5000 people, Gulfwings/Sumaya had a comfortable 3-0 lead going into the second chukka. But Mahra Polo staged a remarkable recovery to draw level 3-3 by the end of the second chukka with Manuel Plaza de Ayala and Nacho Gonzalez doing well.
After a barren third chukka, Matias Vial scored his fourth from 30 yards, only to see the crafty Nacho equalize for Mahra Polo. And just when it looked like Gulfwings/Sumaya would go away with the crown, Gomez made a fine run for de Ayala to tap in the winning goal for Mahra Polo.
This year's second edition of this popular tournament will see the addition of two new things: the handicap will be raised from 12 goals to 15 goals and a brand new competition, the Silver Cup will be added, having a handicap of 12-15 goals.
The competition for the Threadneedle Gold Cup will be held from March 2-11, 2011, and will be preceded by the Silver Cup from February 16-25.
The increase in the handicap will ensure the possibility of participation by some of the best professionals (10-goalers) and biggest names in the polo world. The addition of the Silver Cup will bring in more excitement through the playing of a second competition. The crowds are expected to be double in size for the 2011 Gold Cup, at 10,000 people. This is set of tournaments that will keep growing year after year.
Mohammed Al Habtoor, Founder of the Gold Cup said: "With the Gold Cup being under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, being sponsored by Threadneedle, and the knowledge we gained from the 2010 tournament, it is easy to assure that the 2011 Dubai Polo Gold Cup will be the most exciting and prestigious polo event in the region."
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