When it came to it, Mahra Polo readily threw the kitchen sink at rivals Habtoor Polo in their bid to qualify for the quarter finals of the Julius Baer Gold Cup. Mahra join Abu Dhabi in the quarter finals after the latter cruised into the last eight with a systematic 14-6 mauling of Zedan Polo at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club, which is hosting the event. Bautista Urbino turned up with five goals for Habtoor but his effort clearly went down the drain as Mahra produced a solid team effort to rally from behind to win 10-9 in the extra chukker after the scores had been tied at nine apiece at the end of regulation time.
Mahra’s victory over Habtoor arrived on an action packed day which saw Desert Palm edge Bin Drai 9-8 in another Group B round robin encounter. Camilo Castagnola and Raul Laplacette scored five goals each for their respective sides Desert Palm and Bin Drai, in a match that saw Desert Palm seize the initiative midway and hold on for a deserving victory. Group A side Abu Dhabi look like the team to beat and made their way into the knockout phase of the competition after consecutive victories having defeated the Wolves 8-5 in their opening encounter on the first day of the tournament. Alfredo Capella had scored six goals against Wolves in Abu Dhabi’s tournament opener and the Argentine returned to haunt Zedan this time around by scoring nine times in the 14-6 rout.
Abu Dhabi were so dominant they led 4-0 at the end of the first chukker, but Zedan fought back to make it 5-3 at the end of the second. Abu Dhabi showed their rivals their place by racing clear at 9-4 at the end of the third period and swelled their lead to 13-6 in what turned out to be a high scoring fourth period before closing the game at 14-6. In the other Group A contest played on the same day, Manuel Crespo top scored with four goals as the Wolves bounced back from their defeat by Abu Dhabi to beat UAE 8-6. The Julius Baer Gold Cup is an 18 goal handicap competition being held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai. It is the third tournament in the five competition Dubai Gold Cup Series and is one of two tournaments in the Emirates to be recognised and certified by the World Polo Tour.