Report and photos by Gonzalo Etcheverry, Polo Press Manager Dubai Polo Gold Cup.
Habtoor Polo won the first match of the McLaren Cup, the first trophy of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series 2017, in the first match of the season, held Saturday January 21st at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort.
Patron Mohammed Al Habtoor’s team defeated Wolves Polo by 9 goals to 7 with Alfredo Capella replacing injured Nicolás Pieres in the initial line up.
First three chukkers were played at full speed, with both teams in a very even level and a very short diference in the score for Habtoor Polo.
The second half of the match was another story. Habtoor Polo took notice of coach Guillermo Cuitiño words and achieved to score three consecutive goals for a 8-5 gap for the last seven minutes of the match.
Despite of Wolves reaction Habtoor secured the victory with another goal in the last chukker for a 9-7 final result.
Alfredo Capella and Tomás Beresford where the top scorers of the match with 4 goals each and, for the record, Habtoor Al Habtoor (Wolves) scored the first goal of the tournament.
Match progression: Habtoor: 1-2/ 3-2/ 5-4/ 8-5/ 9-7
The McLaren Cup will continue tomorrow with a double action day at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort. Starting at 2 pm Desert Palm will play against UAE Polo Team in field 2 and from 4pm Bin Drai will face Zedan in field 3.
Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series (Dubai Open), an 18 Goal Handicap compe on, enters its eighth year under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The tournament is now the highest handicap in the UAE.
The Dubai Open has been split into two tournaments. Starting with the McLaren Cup, which runs from Saturday January 21st, 2017 to Friday February 3rd, 2017. The second tournament, the Julius Baer Gold Cup, commences on Friday, February 18th, 2017 to Friday March 10th, 2017.
Seven polo teams will be participating in the McLaren Cup 2017 18-goal handicap:
- Mahra Polo – Patron: Rashid Al Habtoor
- Bin Drai Polo Team – Patron: Saeed Bin Drai
- Habtoor Polo Team – Patron: Mohammed Al Habtoor
- UAE Polo Team – Patron: Her Highness Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
- Zedan Polo Team – Patron: Amr Zedan
- Habtoor Wolves Polo Team – Patron: Habtoor Al Habtoor
- Desert Palm Polo Team – Tariq Albwardy