Julius Baer Team by Habtoor Polo Achieves the Bentley Cup
HH Sheikha Maitha´s team UAE Polo were crowned champions in the Julius Baer Gold Cup on Friday 11 March against Mahra with a final score of 10-7 at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. It is the first time that HH Sheikha Maitha´s team UAE Polo have won The Julius Baer Gold Cup. They now join a list of winners which includes Mahra, Abu Dhabi, Habtoor Polo, Ghantoot and Zedan over the last seven years of the tournament’s history.
UAE Polo showed their intentions to win from the very beginning, taking the lead to end the first chukka with a score of 3-2. They maintained their lead throughout the game steadily increasing the gap so that come the third chukka they were a safe five goals ahead. Lucas Monteverde led his team from the back and teenager Jack Hyde scored at every opportunity he had. However the fourth and final chukka could have spelled danger as Mahra scored two more goals and UAE failed to make any further impression on the scoreboard, instead opting to control play and minimise any further goals from their opposition.
Lucas Monteverde was named the Most Valuable Player and Asesora, a mare played by Jack Hyde, was awarded the Best Playing Pony.
Jack Hyde, who will shortly be heading back to the UK to prepare for a summer season with Zacara spoke to Polo Times about the game and Asesora, “The game went better than we could have imagined, we all performed extremely well and came together as a team when we needed to. Our horses played a massive part in the win for me, they where all incredible and didn’t let us down at all. Lucas was solid playing as back and the opposition struggled to get past him. We played a very open game, which I think helped us a lot because the field wasn’t easy. Hitting the ball up the field was a good tactic as it put the pressure on Mahra to hit backhands on bouncy ground, which isn’t easy to do. It was an amazing game, which was made even better by a great atmosphere at the Club. My Best Playing Pony, Asesora, is a mare from the Memo Gracida stock lines. She has been my best horse throughout the Dubai season and hasn’t missed a game since December.”
The Bentley Cup Final (Subsidiary Final) was won by Julius Baer Team by Habtoor Polo after defeating Abu Dhabi by 8 goals to 7. To see all the match scores and team lists from the Julius Baer Gold Cup click here. A full report will feature in the April issue of Polo Times.
Photograph: UAE Polo with the Julius Baer Gold Cup. By Gonzalo Etcheverry/DPGC 2016