Saturday March 5 will remain as a very special day for UAE Polo forever. Not only they had the rematch of the Bentley Emirates Silver Cup, which they lost to Habtoor, but also because UAE Polo brought such a remarkable gift to HH Sheikha Maitha on her birthday: following a hard fought contest, UAE Polo claimed a 9-8 win and won the Gold Cup, the most coveted trophy in the Middle East, after the final that took place at Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sheikha Maitha had a double celebration in a tournament that saw them winners for the third time, not to mention they have previously played several finals, including in 2021, when they lost to Ghantoot. Without doubts, UAE Polo, who finished the competition unbeaten, is already settled as one of the strongest polo organisations, not only in the Middle East, but also in England and Argentina, which is led by no less than the legendary Lucas Monteverde, the brains behind the passion and hard work within the whole organisation.
The Gold Cup, the culminating moment of the season hosted by Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, forms part of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, the most prestigious polo event in Asia and the Middle East, held under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
With regards to the championship match, already the derby of polo in the Middle East, UAE Polo and Habtoor, two teams who made a remarkable tournament, played, as expected, a very tough and hard fought contest. Following consecutive ties in the two first chukkas, UAE Polo managed to take a narrow advantage in the two next chukkas, but Habtoor remained always close. With UAE Polo leading by two in the last chukka, Habtoor produced a couple of goals, the last with only 30 seconds in regulation time, courtesy of Bautista Bayugar, to tie at 8-all, and send the match into extra chukka. And, as happened in 2020, when UAE won the Gold Cup for the last time, halfway that extra chukka, it was Tommy Beresford who picked the ball to seal the deal and secured UAE Polo the coveted title.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum presented the trophy to the winners; Tomás Beresford, the top scorer of the match, was named MVP, while Brillante, ridden by Bautista Bayugar, took BPP honors.
Previosuly, Zedan, led by an outstanding Tomás Panelo, who scored nine goals, defeated AM Polo 11-9 and won the Subsidiary Auto Millenium Cup.
The tournament saw eight teams up to 18 goals, compete.
THE GOLD CUP WAS STREAMED LIVE ON POLOLINE TV.
GOLD CUP – FINALS – SATURDAY MARCH 5
SUBSIDIARY AUTO MILLENIUM CUP
ZEDAN 11-9 AM POLO
ZEDAN: Amr Zedan 0, Tomás Panelo 7, Manuel Plaza 6, Gonzalo Ferrari 5.
AM POLO: Sheikha Alia 0, Pablo Urquiza 4, Benjamín Urquiza 6, Alejandro Muzzio 8.
Score Zedan: 2-2, 5-4, 8-6, 9-7, 11-9.
Top scorer: Tomás Panelo (9 goals)
UAE POLO 9-8 HABTOOR (EXTRA CHUKKA)
UAE POLO: Sheika Maitha 0, Lukin Monteverde 5, Tommy Beresford 6, Jacinto Crotto 7.
HABTOOR: Mohammed Al Habtoor 0, Bautista Bayugar 8, Juan Jauretche 6, Matías González 4.
Score UAE Polo: 2-2, 3-3, 5-4, 7-6, 8-8, 9-8.
MVP: Tomás Beresford.
Top Scorer: Tomás Beresford (5 goals).
BPP: Brillante (ridden by Bautista Bayugar).