UAE Polo seem to be on a winning spree and have been notching up victory after victory following their success in the Silver Cup by now claiming the Polo Masters Cup at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club. Weeks after edging Ghantoot Polo 10-9 to lift the Silver Cup, the UAE were back on the podium to claim their second prize this month in the form of the Polo Masters Cup. This time they rallied to beat Bin Drai 8.5-7 in the final. Bin Drai started off well and were the first to draw blood with their dominance continuing until half-time which saw them lead 6-3. However, the UAE had other plans and bounced back strongly in the chukkers that made the second half of the match to win 8.5-7. The subsidiary final was won by AM Polo, who beat Mahra 9-7.
Mohammed Al Habtoor, the Vice- Chairman and CEO of Al Habtoor Group, gave away the prizes to the teams at the end of the tournament. Benjamin Panelo was named Most Valuable Player, while Balada, ridden by Andres Laplacette, was adjudged the Best Playing Pony. Having further cemented their position as the team to beat, the UAE started out as the the team to beat at the 10th Julius Baer Gold Cup, which got underway Tuesday and runs until 8 March. The tournament is being under the aegis of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The UAE have been drawn in Group A alongside Desert Palm, Mahra and Abu Dhabi, while Group B features Ghantoot, Habtoor, Zedan and Dubai Wolves.
The group stage of the competition will employ a round robin format, with the top two teams making the Gold Cup semifinals directly and the second placed teams taking on the third placed sides in the opposite groups in a quarterfinal. While the winners move to the Gold Cup semis, the losers play the fourth placed sides in each of the group in the last four round for the subsidiary competition. The finals of Gold Cup and subsidiary competition will be held on 8 March. Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice Chairman & CEO of Al Habtoor Group, Founder of the DPGC Series and Patron of Habtoor Polo team said: “As a team patron and a polo enthusiast, I am excited to have eight strong teams with remarkable top-ranking players join us for the Julius Baer Gold Cup this season.”