Action from the last week of matches
Last week saw the beginning of the 2017 Cartier Queen’s Cup. The first day of play saw wins for El Remanso and King Power. The next day saw newcomers Monterosso Polo Team defeated by last year’s finalists La Indiana, whilst Murus Sanctus put in a strong performance against RH Polo, but it was not enough to secure the win against the mighty Cambiaso.
Over the weekend four more matches were played, whilst ‘Wonderful Wednesday’, as its been coined, saw three matches.
Saturday 27 May:
La Bamba de Areco took on Sifani with Windsor Castle as the backdrop for Hilali Noordeen’s Sifani team’s first win in the qualifiers. They defeated Jean François Deçaux’s La Bamba de Areco 11-8 on the Castle Ground at Flemish Farm, although it was not plain sailing for Sifani as they trailed in the first half but found form to clinch the victory.
La Indiana notched up their second win in the tournament after defeating Talandracas on The Duke’s Ground. Michael Bickford’s team played some great four man polo and the addition of Luke Tomlinson at back this season means that La Indiana’s back door is always firmly shut. They were awarded The Royal Windsor Horse Show Cup after a 13-8 win.
Sunday 28 May:
Another double whammy of matches saw newcomers Monterosso vs Sommelier and RH Polo vs King Power.
Sommelier got their Cartier Queen’s Cup campaign off to a winning start, defeating Alessandro Bazzoni’s Monterosso team 7-5. These teams were quite evenly matched throughout and at times both sides failed to find the flags in this match at Coworth Park. Sommelier are featuring the Canadian international, eight goal Fred Mannix Jnr, who tasted Queen’s Cup victory back in 2004 with Labegorce. Next up it was the match that was billed as a Clash of Titans as it featured Adolfo Cambiaso vs Facundo Pieres. The honours went to Cambiaso and Ben Soleimani’s RH Polo Team, as Facundo not only failed to score in the match at all, but was sent to the sin bin for two minutes after two yellow flags in the final chukka. Heavy rain showers added to the drama in the third chukka, which saw King Power take the lead for the first time 5-3, at half-time. RH were not unsettled though, unlike the weather, and in the second half continued with their game plan which saw Cambiaso and Rodrigo de Andrade pairing up well, while Tommy Beresford focused on keeping Facundo away from the ball. However, this policy did sometimes leave Gonzalito Pieres free and of course he took full advantage whenever possible, producing some great runs to goal for King Power. In fact, Gonzalito scored seven of King Power’s eight goals, while Top Srivaddhanaprabh scored the other in the third chukka.
Ros Packer, who had watched the game from the Royal Box, presented the Kerry Packer Trophy to Ben Soleimani.
Wednesday 31 May:
A triad of matches saw Monterosso vs Talandracas, El Remanso vs Sommelier and King Power vs La Bamba de Areco.
In the first match of the day, Edouard Carmignac’s Talandracas, winners of The Queen’s Cup in 2011, registered their first win in their 2017 campaign, but not without a fight. They faced a strong Monterosso Polo Team who were looking for that all-important first win and it looked like it might happen – they were 4-1 down at the end of the second chukka, but rallied in the third to edge ahead 5-4. Talandracas pegged them back in the fourth chukka to level the score, but Alessandro Bazzoni’s team fired through three further goals in the fifth chukka to only one in reply from Talandracas. This gave Monterosso a crucial advantage at the start of the sixth (9-7), but Talandracas are hugely experienced and kept their heads to peg back Monterosso once more and then fire through the winning goal in the extra 30 seconds of the sixth chukka, ending the match, 12-11.
The second battle of the day saw a fraternal Hanbury fight on home turf and it was Charlie Hanbury and the all-English team that came out best. Sommelier started off well, keeping level with El Remanso at the end of the second (4-4) thanks to some accurate penalty taking from Fred Mannix Jnr, but the damage was done in the fourth. Lovely play, including a great partnership between Charlie Hanbury and Ollie Cudmore, saw El Remanso pull away (8-5) at half-time. With James Beim and James Harper also firing through goals, Sommelier struggled to keep pace and El Remanso ran out the winners, 13-6.
This bumper day was rounded off by King Power vs La Bamba de Areco. Hugo Taylor had his first taste of the tournament, playing for King Power instead of teammate Charles Cooney. La Bamba de Areco were looking for their first win, but King Power were back on form after Sunday’s loss to RH Polo, and ensured that they won this match with ease. Luck was also against La Bamba, with Diego Cavanagh having to retire injured in the third chukka with his place being taken by RH’s Brazilian international Rodrigo de Andrade. Not surprisingly a substitution always unsettles a team and King Power took advantage, leading 5-4 at the start of the fourth chukka. La Bamba failed to score in this chukka and only scored one in the fifth, giving King Power an almost unassailable 10-5 lead going into the final chukka. La Bamba found their rhythm in the sixth but it was too late, and with King Power firing though a total of eight goals in the second half, to only five in reply from La Bamba, Top’s team registered their second win in this year’s tournament.
At the end of the first, thrilling week of the Cartier Queen’s Cup tournament, it’s two wins a piece for King Power, El Remanso, La Indiana and RH Polo with all to play for before the first day of the Semi-Final Knockouts on Saturday 10 June.
The next matches are on Saturday 3 June, when Sommelier will take on Talandracas at midday and El Remanso will take on La Indiana at 3pm.
A full form guide to the teams is featured in the June issue of Polo Times. We will also be featuring up-to-date reports online. Not a subscriber? Don’t miss out and click here
The Cartier Queen’s Cup Teams:
El Remanso (21): Charlie Hanbury (4), Ollie Cudmore (5), James Beim (6) & James Harper (6)
Murus Sanctus (22): Corinne Ricard (0), Hilario Ulloa (10), Facundo Sola (8) & ‘Min’ Podesta (4)
La Indiana (22): Michael Bickford (1), Nic Roldan (7), Agustin Merlos (8) & Luke Tomlinson (6)
RH Polo(22): Ben Soleimani (0), Tommy Beresford (4), Adolfo Cambiaso (10) & Rodrigo de Andrade (8)
Monterosso Polo Team (22): Alessandro Bazzoni (1), Ignacio Toccalino (8), Santiago Toccalino (8) & Matt Perry (5)
La Bamba De Areco (22): Jean-François Deçaux (0), Diego Cavanagh (8)/ Rodrigo de Andrade (8 substitute 31 May), Cristian Laprida (8) & Rodrigo Rueda Jnr (6)
Sifani (21): Hilali Noordeen (0), John Paul Clarkin (7), Julian de Lusarreta (7) & Guillermo Terrera (8)
Talandracas Polo Team (22): Edouard Carmignac (0), Guillermo Caset (9), ‘Pelon’ Stirling (10) & Jack Hyde (3)
King Power (22): ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha (1), Charles Cooney (1)/Hugo Taylor (1), Gonzalo Pieres (10) & Facundo Pieres (10)
Sommelier (22): George Hanbury (3), Juan Gris Zavaleta (7), Fred Mannix Jnr (8) & Alec White (4)
Photograph: Gonzalito Pieres for King Power thunders up the field. By Tony Ramirez/©www.imagesofpolo.com