The Diary: Appeal of glorious gallops

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The Independent Online
TO WINDSOR GREAT PARK for the polo, as they say in the smart diaries. Polo, darling of the jet set, is held back by an image problem: most people cannot see the athleticism for the glamour. But strip away the gin and jag veneer and the on-field spectacle is exceptional. Currently in England are a pair of Argentinians who practise this mounted version of turbo- charged hockey at the very highest level. Horacio and Pepe Heguy, cousins in a family which boasts five members on top-of-the-range 10-goal handicaps, displayed their prodigious gifts at Guards on Thursday, blending horsemanship, hand-eye co-ordination and shooting to magnificent effect.

'The Heguys play what I call Test match polo,' Maj Gen Bernard Gordon Lennox, Guards Polo Club chairman, remarked admiringly as the pair dominated for their team, Labegorce, in a 13-5 Queen's Cup defeat of Canada's Fish Creek. 'They show polo's appeal - all the excitement of a skilled ball game and with galloping too. It's the best sport in the world.' Arguable, but decide for yourself: the Queen's Cup tournament continues until 5 June.

FROM Guards to The Oval. New Zealand cricket followers clearly know their sports. When a youth in a Crystal Palace shirt obscured views at Surrey's HQ recently, the young Eagle was regaled with Kiwi cries of 'Yo-Yo, Yo-Yo', a wicked reference to Palace's down-and-up lifestyle.

CIM BOM BOM, a colt who made a disappointing debut in yesterday's 4.10 at Hamilton, possesses one of the more unusual monikers in racing but one unlikely to please Manchester United fans. Cim Bom Bom is Galatasaray's victory chant. The nag was named by his Turkish owner, Yucel Birol, to wind up his trainer. 'He knew I supported a Manchester-based football team,' Michael Bell explained. 'The joke backfired, though, because I'm a City fan and it was too late to change the name]' Rumours that Birol will call his next steed Peter Swales are unfounded.

APART from Philip Don, whose sterling performance in the European Cup final presented further proof to Fifa that he could officiate the World Cup final, another familiar British name contributed to the classic in Athens. The biggest, most beautifully printed banner, twice the size of an average house, lauded a great Scot from the early Eighties . . . 'MILAN CLUB JOE JORDAN'.

BOBBY GEORGE and his arrow- throwing comrades are riding to John Major's aid. George, and the British Darts Organisation, are convinced that their sport, for so long maligned as an intellectual backwater, can help the Government's new National Curriculum become more accessible to schoolchildren. Darts, after all, demands a quick mind for adding and subtracting. George will be on the oche on BBC tomorrow to prove his point (a safety-conscious, soft- tipped one), while the BDO's general secretary, Olly Croft, has already contacted John Patten, the Education Minister. The nation's schoolchildren wait hopefully.

WANDSWORTH's lead in the British Australian Rules Football League, an ascendancy threatened by Birmingham Crows at an all-barbie gathering in south London tomorrow, stems partly from the Demons' cunning recruitment plan. To lure top Australians, Wandsworth's players carry club business cards to hand out to promising-looking young bucks in pubs. Any member returning to Oz is also given cards - to catch potential signings before they even head to England.

Team Spirit

Send in a team, like a cricket XI named after places (Crawley, Rhodes, etc) and the best will win a bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon. Entries to Team Spirit, Sports Diary, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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