By Alex Webbe
Mild upsets set the scene in the final three games of the knockout phase of the 2016 Cartier Queens Cup at the Guards Polo Club Wednesday afternoon setting the pairings for the tournament’s weekend quarterfinals.
HB Polo (Ludovic Pailloncy, Ignacio Toccalino, Pelon Stirling and Sebastien Pailloncy) charged out to a commanding 8-2 halftime lead over Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Facha Valent, Guillermo Terrera and Alejo Taranco) before coasting to a12-8 win; Sifani (Hilali Noordeen, Juan Gris Zavaleta, J.P. Clarkin and Luke Tomlinson) earned their second win of the tournament by breaking out of a 5-5 fourth chukker tie to register a 9-8 win over a talented Apes Hill team (Tom Beim, Mark Tomlinson, Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Alex White) that took the field without injured teammate George Hanbury (broken collarbone); and La Bamba de Areco (Jean-Francois Decaux, Diego Cavanagh, Magoo Laprida and Rodrigo Rueda, Jr.) closed out the day by defeating Talandracas (Eduard Carmignac, Tommy Beresford, Polito Pieres and Sapo Caset), 9-8.
Joined with RH Polo’s (Ben Soleimani, Ali Patterson, Nico Pieres and Rodrigo Andrade) 10-9 win over Britannia El Remanso (Charlie Hanbury, Ollie Cudmore, James Beim and James Harper), the quarterfinal field was set.
The opening match of the Cartier Queens Cup quarterfinals is scheduled to be played on Saturday, June 4th between HB Polo and Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Kian Hall, Adolfo Cambiaso and Juan Martin Nero). Dubai won all three of their preliminary games this year and return as a 2015 finalist. The second match of the day is slated to begin at 3pm and will feature the defending championship King Power Foxes (Top Srivaddhanaprabha, Pepito Araya, Gonzalito Pieres and Facundo Pieres) and La Bamba de Areco. Like Dubai, King Power won all three of their preliminary matches and have been an early favourite to return to the championship game to defend their title.
The final two quarterfinals are scheduled to be played on Sunday, June 5th with La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Nic Roldan, Agustin Merlos and Julian de Lusarreta) meeting Sifani in an 11am encounter followed by a 3pm battle between Zacara (Jack Hyde, Lyndon Lea, Lucas Monteverde and Pablo MacDonough) and RH Polo. Zacara’s only loss of the tournament came at the hands of King Power while an improving RH Polo team ekes their way into the playoffs with a humble 1-3 record.
Semi-finals of the Queens Cup are set for Wednesday, June 8th with the final scheduled to be played on Saturday, June 11th.