2016argentineseason-91-2015-12-221GThe return of an all-Novillo Astrada lineup & other news.

By Alejandra Ocampo

2016 is on the way! New lineups have been confirmed for next year’s Triple Crown following the end of the season in Argentina and handicap changes.

One of the most notable changes is the comeback of an all-Novillo Astrada lineup; Eduardo, Miguel, Ignacio and Alejandro join forces for a 35-goal team: La Aguada Las Monjitas. The brothers divided in 2012 with the goal of including the youngest, Alejandro, in the family team. Alejandro began playing with the eldest, Eduardo, in a second team, La Aguada Las Monjitas. Meanwhile, Miguel, Javier and Nacho remained together in La Aguada with Guillermo Caset Jr. The three brothers were to continue in 2013 with Facundo Sola, but sadly Javier’s illness returned and he was unable to play. As a result, Guillermo Terrera joined the lineup as his replacement.

Eduardo and Alejando continued with La Aguada Las Monjitas, but in 2015 Nacho was the only Novillo Astrada left playing in La Aguada, after Miguel decided to take a year out.

Now, with Miguel back in the saddle, it’s time for the brothers to keep the promise they gave Javier after he passed away in May 2014. “We always talked about playing togeher again, and we thought this was the ideal moment,”Miguel tells PoloLine. “We wanted to wait a bit after Javier’s passing, and now we have decided to go on. We still don’t know how we will set ourselves up in terms of positions, we will just see how we all work out.”

Despite Miguel not playing the Triple Crown this year, he did take part in other tournament, such as the Cámara de Diputados Cup and the Municipalidad del Pilar Cup, both with Alegria. “I’m very happy with my decision; it was good to see the season from the outside after playing for so many years,” says Miguel. “You learn a lot of good things watching. Also, I was able to play 6-year-old horses, and some new ones which will play next year. I think there will be around 5 or 6 new horses, which will make a total of 14 or 15 in my string. Besides, I was very relaxed, and I spent a lot of time with my family. That’s what I wanted the most.”

Regarding his role as La Aguada’s coach, Miguel adds: “As I say, I watched them from pony lines and realised many things that could be improved to help the team. What I liked most is that the boys played my horses, and they all went very well. It was a great experience.”

In addition to the comeback of the Novillo Astrada brothers, the 2016 season will feature a new 35-goal foursome, with no name as of yet, comprised of the two Toccalino brothers, Cubi and Santiago, and Agustín Merlos and Ignacio Heguy. Santiago and Nachi leave Magual and Chapaleufu, respectively, while Cubi and Agustin (who made a great comeback in the Triple Crown this year) leave from the two La Agauda teams.

Another former La Aguada member, brand new 10-goaler Guillermo Caset Jr., will be joining Alegria’s line-up. Fred Mannix’s team will feature no less than two 10-goalers – Sapo and Hilario Ulloa, the top scorer of this last Argentine Open an one of the superstars of the season.

There is fantastic news for Washington as well, the newcomers of the year. They will keep their same lineup – Facundo Sola, Diego Cavanagh, Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario and Alfredo Cappella, and in 2016 they play their first complete Triple Crown, after the handicap raises of Cappella (8 to 9) and Martinez Ferrario (8 to 7). It will be a great challenge for this young and talented foursome; they have a brilliant future ahead.

La Dolfina and Ellerstina will remain the same. The “big six” ready to play the 2016 Triple Crown are confirmed. Now, we have to see what teams will compete with them after qualifying. Next season promises to be better than ever! Stay tuned!

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