There’s a long way to go until the coveted Argentine Triple Crown begins, but the anticipated spring season in Argentina is already beginning to take shape. The Argentine Association of Polo (AAP) has revealed the eight teams that will compete in the Triple Crown, as well as the seven lineups that will fight to qualify for Palermo. Of the seven, only two can qualify.
With the exception of Ellerstina and La Natividad Las Monjitas, whose lineups will remain the same as in 2020, many Triple Crown teams have undergone significant changes. For a start, there won’t be a 40-goal team anymore. La Dolfina will be rated at 38-goal this year, following the departures of Pablo Mac Donough and Juan Martín Nero to RS Murus Sanctus. Their places have been filled by Francisco Elizalde and Diego Cavanagh. This means that Ellerstina and RS Murus Sanctus, with 39-goals a piece, will be the two highest rated teams in the championship series.
In addition, La Dolfina will have a second team play the Triple Crown: La Dolfina Brava. The lineup will feature Poroto Cambiaso playing alongside two former members of La Dolfina Polo Ranch, Guillermo Terrera and Jejo Taranco, as well as Brazil’s Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade. Poroto, already rated at 8-goals, will be playing his first complete Triple Crown (in 2020, he played the Tortugas Open and the Hurlingham Open).
Other big news is Alegria’s comeback to the big leagues. Fred Mannix has returned to Argentina to put a team together. He will be playing with Agustín Merlos, Tomás García del Río, and Pedro Zacharias. The latter, the second Brazilian competing in the championship, will be making his Triple Crown debut.
In terms of the Qualification Tournament for Palermo, seven teams, up to 30 goals, have been announced so far. Many lineups will include young players, some of which are already big names abroad and will be looking for a place on the top stage. These include Peke Gonzalez, Pipe Vercellino, Torito Ruiz, Felipe Dabas, Rufino Bensadón, Tomás Beresford, among others.
The Qualification Tournament will see a second Alegria team compete, playing under the name of Alegria Fish Creek, as well as La Irenita and La Irenita II. This year’s edition will see the return of two historic names: La Aguada (with Miguel Novillo Astrada) and Chapaleufu. The one and only Mariano Aguerre will also be competing with his Los Machitos lineup, alongside nephew, Martincito. Finally, Pascual Sainz de Vicuña, who made history as the first Spaniard to ever play the Argentine Open, will play with La Esquina.
2021 TRIPLE CROWN – TEAMS
Ellerstina: Facundo Pieres 10, Hilario Ulloa 10, Gonzalo Pieres Jr. 9, Nicolás Pieres 10. Total: 39.
RS Murus Sanctus: Facundo Sola 9, Guillermo Caset 10, Pablo Mac Donough 10, Juan Martín Nero 10. Total: 39.
La Dolfina: Adolfo Cambiaso 10, David Stirling 10, Francisco Elizalde 9, Diego Cavanagh 9. Total: 38.
La Natividad Las Monjitas: Camilo Castagnola 9, Pablo Pieres 9, Bartolomé Castagnola Jr. 9, Ignatius du Plessis 9. Total: 36.
La Ensenada: Juan Britos 9, Alfredo Bigatti 8, Juan M. Zubía 8, Jerónimo del Carril 8. Total: 33.
La Dolfina Brava: Adolfo Cambiaso Jr. 8, Guillermo Terrera 9, Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade 8, Alejo Taranco 8. Total: 33.
La Irenita: Santiago Loza 8, Segundo Bocchino 7, Ignacio Toccalino 8, Isidro Strada 8. Total: 31.
Alegría: Agustín Merlos 7, Pedro Zacharías 7, Tomás García del Río 7, Fred Mannix 7. Total: 28.
2021 QUALIFICATION – TEAMS
Alegría Fish Creek: Juan Ruiz Guiñazú 8, Clemente Zavaleta 7, Joaquín Pittaluga 7, Bautista Bayugar 8. Total: 30.
La Esquina: Pascual Sáinz de Vicuña 6, Cristian Laprida 8, Lucas James 7, Ignacio Laprida 8. Total: 29.
Chapaleufú: Rufino Bensadón 7, Juan Martín Zavaleta 8, Julián de Lusarreta 7, Felipe Dabas 7. Total: 29.
La Aguada: Peke González 7, Manuel Elizalde 7, Miguel Novillo Astrada 8, Tomás Beresford 7. Total: 29.
La Fija: Raúl Colombres 7, Ezequiel Martínez Ferrario 7, Ignacio Negri 7, Felipe Vercellino 7. Total: 28.
La Irenita II: Martín Podestá 7, Juan A. García Grossi 7, Facundo Fernández Llorente 7, Tomás Fernández Llorente 7. Total: 28.
Los Machitos: Victorino Ruiz Jorba 7, Lucas Díaz Alberdi 7, Mariano Aguerre 7, Martín Aguerre 7. Total: 28.