The tragic loss in a helicopter crash at Leicester City Football Club in October last year of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Chairman of King Power, the Thai luxury duty-free business that sponsors the Cowdray Park Gold Cup, was marked last Sunday with a special day in his memory.
Local children had the chance to celebrate Khun Vichai’s love of football by playing in King Power kit in a football match preceding the last of the Quarter Final matches in the King Power Gold Cup. King Power provided junior home and away kit and the girls and boys played in mixed teams of ‘Foxes’ or ‘Griffins’. In a very lively match, it was ultimately a 6-3 win for the Foxes but everyone got to take home a goody bag prize.
After the prize-giving the audience had another treat with the appearance of the King Power Stables’ gelding Cleonte who had won the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot on 22nd June. Then it was on to the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Trophy match itself, played between Dubai and La Indiana. In a thrilling, very close match, the four players in the Dubai side, their average age being younger than any other of the ten teams in the competition, once again gave a blistering performance and went on to win 8-7. The other quarter finals played over the weekend saw equally close scores. Andrey Borodin’s Park Place narrowly beat Spencer McCarthy’s Emlor side 9-8 for their place in the Semi Finals, David Paradice’s Scone Polo had to take their match to a seventh chukka in order to secure an 11-10 victory over Eduoard Carmignac’s Talandracas team, and the VS King Power side who at one stage in their match were ahead 13-8, just held onto their lead in the final chukka to squeak through with a victory over Murus Sanctus at 13-12.
A fun Memorial game closed the day with four 10 goal players taking to the field to play against four amateur 0-goal players but with 26 goals on the scoreboard in favour of the pink shirts of the 0 goalers. Polo legends Facundo Pieres, David Stirling, Gonzalito Pieres and Juan Martin Nero, who have all been playing in the 2019 King Power Gold Cup, between them scored 29 goals, with ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha guaranteeing £10,000 per goal for any score they made over 26 goals going to his father’s Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation. Khun Aimon Srivaddhanaprabha, widow of the late King Power Chairman, charmingly presented prizes during the afternoon.