After La Bamba de Areco failed to make it past the qualification stages of the British Open Gold Cup, this year’s tournament will not only have a new champion, but we will also see two different organisations in the final (in 2018, El Remanso played La Bamba de Areco). The prestigious competition is set to continue this weekend with the quarterfinals at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
Let’s analyse the upcoming matches. First up on Saturday, Talandracas will take on Scone in a rematch of the last Wednesday’s battle, which resulted in a victory for Carmignac’s men. But the most notable clash between these organisations came during the Queen’s Cup, when Talandracas were undefeated thus far in the season. At that moment, David Paradice’s organisation was on the way up; they claimed the victory and went on to win the title. Talandracas recovered from the defeat and finished the tournament with their heads held high. There isn’t a clear favourite to win this match, and the symmetry in the structure of both teams indicates that this will be a tight match.
Next up, Murus Sanctus will play VS King Power. Here we can dare to speculate that Corinne Ricard’s team may have the upper hand. The addition of Mín Podestá to the team gave the organisation a breath of fresh air, and this can been seen in the four consecutive victories they have claimed in the tournament, and their different style of play. They are well mounted, and Facu Sola and Gonza Pieres are fighting hard. However, they must not get too confident. While VS King Power qualified at the last minute, they might just have a surprise between their hands.
Quarterfinal action will continue on Sunday with a match between Emlor, who are living their own Cinderella moment, and Park Place. Similarly to Murus Sanctus, Emlor modified their team line up—they incorporated Michel del Carril—and are reaping the benefits. It is worth remembering that they have already beaten Park Place once this season. But Andrey Borodin’s organisation have clearly studied the best way to play their opponents, and they boast players capable of determining the outcome of the match. Considering previous results, Emlor is the favourite, but looking at their structure and potential, Park Place could take the upper hand.
The last Gold Cup match over the weekend will be the most exciting of them all: Dubai VS La Indiana. The fact that Dubai have the lowest handicap of the tournament (20 goals) has not seemed to affect them in the slightest. As the tournament is played with an Open format, they have not received a single goal advantage, and they have not needed it. La Indiana qualified for the Gold Cup final in 2016, and they have not struggled too much on the way to this season’s quarters. They did, however, suffer a fall in the process, against Dubai, no less. If they want to beat Dubai, they need Facundo Pieres to be on his best form. The Castagnola brothers continue improving as the tournament wares on, but now things are getting serious. The performances of Rodrigo Andrade & Nachi Du Plessis will make all the difference in this explosive match, which unfortunately can only be seen live at the venue.
The quarterfinals of the Gold Cup will be played in the following order:
12pm: Talandracas vs Scone
3pm: Murus Sanctus vs VS King Power.
12pm: Emlor vs Park Place
3pm: Dubai vs La Indiana