Dubai Gold Cup Series continues
Victories for Julius Baer by Habtoor (Mohammed Al Habtoor (0), Santiago Cernadas (6), Martin Iturraspe (6) and Guillermo Cuitino (6)) and Bin Drai (Saeed Bin Drai (0), Agustin Canale (6), Manolo Fernandez-Llorente (6) and Raul Laplacette (6)) in today’s final league stages of Group A, sees the teams go through to the Semi Finals of The Dubai Gold Cup at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club.
In the Al Habtoor brother’s derby match, Mohammed’s Julius Baer team played a great second half game to defeat Rashid’s Mahra (Guy Gibrat (5), Joaquin Pittaluga (7) and Nacho Gonzalez (6)) side 7 goals to 6. Despite trailing in the first chukkas of the game, by half-time they had found their stride and played a strong fourth to take them into a three-goal lead. The fifth chukka was a close affair with Mahra keeping their opposition’s attacking plays in check whilst applying the pressure to get within a goal of victory. Sadly for the Mahra line-up, they couldn’t quite overcome Julius Baer and so will now play off for the Semi Finals of the Subsidiary, The Bentley Cup.
In the second match of the afternoon, Bin Drai faced Edrees (Sultan Edrees (0), Pablo Llorente (6), Juan Ruiz Guinazu (7) and Pierre Henri N’Goumou (5)). Both teams were evenly matched in the first, only scoring a goal apiece, but come chukka two, Bin Drai surged ahead to a two-goal advantage. The third was a slow one for spectators, with neither team being able to find the goal posts. After half-time, both teams scored two goals with Bin Drai retaining their lead, but a strong fifth chukka for Edrees left the crowd unsure of the final outcome. Edrees’ goal-scoring left them steadily approaching their opposition’s lead, coming within a goal of the Bin Drai team’s tally. However, Saeed’s side managed to hold on and win the game 7-6, assuring their place in the tournament’s Semi Final.
Polo continues tomorrow with another double-action day with Desert Palm I versus Abu Dhabi followed by Zedan versus UAE.
Photograph: Action from today’s Dubai Gold Cup games. By Gonzalo Etcheverry.