apesEduardo Novillo Astrada scores in nail biting finish

The preliminary rounds of The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup are now underway, with yesterday’s three matches at Cowdray Park Polo Club seeing fast-paced high goal play to wow the spectators on the sidelines. The first match of the day saw Apes Hill take on the mighty Talandracas and win in spectacular style, with a last minute goal from Eduardo Novillo Astrada that finished the match 11-10 to Apes Hill. Talandracas, who were knocked out in the Semi Finals of the Queen’s Cup by eventual victors King Power Foxes, feature on their team Polito Pieres, cousin of top players Gonzalito and Fecundo, who is recognisable by his pink helmet.

Not that Apes Hill’s performance was ever in any doubt; they were 5-1 up at half time, but as Talandracas had gained ground to make the score 10-8 by the start of the last chukka, the match looked as if it was still all to play for.

Later in the day, Dubai dominated over HB Polo, winning 17-9. The well-established Dubai team has now been running for over 20 years, and features Adolfo Cambiaso who has been a fixture on the team sheet since the early 2000s, as well as 8 goal pro Diego Cavanagh. Both Cambiaso and Cavanagh unfortunately could not complete their Cartier Queen’s Cup matches due to injury, but have returned to the field for this tournament.

The last match of the day saw an on-form King Power beat Thai Polo 10-6, pulling away after a half-time score of 7-5. Apichet ‘Tal’ Srivaddhanaprabha’s team are contesting their first season at high goal, though all players are no stranger to top-level tournaments, and are certainly looking strong in their first game. Their sibling team, King Power Foxes, will play La Indiana today in their first game this tournament. They have a lot to live up to after their Cartier Queen’s Cup win over Dubai on Sunday 14 June.

For teams, times and results, click here.

Photograph: Action from the Dubai vs HB Polo match. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com

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