The 2018 Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series began with the McLaren Cup where two keenly contested games saw Habtoor Polo and Zedan Polo only just edging their rivals to win opening matches. The Series is being hosted at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club in Dubai and the first day’s competition in the 18- goal handicap McLaren Cup witnessed Habtoor Polo beating Wolves 5-4 before a UAE Team, headed by HH Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, went down fighting 8-7 to Zedan Polo.
Habtoor Polo started well and looked in control after taking a 2-0 lead, but the Wolves fought back to level the game at 4-4. However, Habtoor Polo’s 8-goal handicapper Francisco Elizalde had other plans and worked his magic to score the winner in the last chukker and ensure his side won 5-4. Elizalde was the top scorer of the game with three goals, while Habtoor Al Habtoor contributed with two strikes for the Wolves. The second match turned out to be another tough affair with Zedan Polo moving ahead to take a 3-1 lead at the end of the first chukker. The UAE fought back in the second period to take a 5-4 lead, but Zedan’s reply was immediate and they went ahead 7-5.
The two-goal deficit was wiped out by UAE in the fourth chukker, which ended with the scores tied at 7-7. The stalemate was ended by Zedan Polo’s 10 goaler, the super Pablo Mac Donough, who brought his side victory after converting a 60 yard penalty. UAE’s 10 goaler star Polito Pieres was the top scorer in the match with five strikes, while Mac Donough scored four times in Zedan’s victory. Gold Cup Series founder and patron of the Habtoor Polo Team, Mohammed Al Habtoor said: “This year there are six teams playing in the McLaren Cup.
The participating teams include some of the world’s top ranked players like Pablo Mac Donough, Polito Pieres, Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario, Francisco Elizalde and many others who have come directly from Argentine Open.” The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series comprises five high goal tournaments apart, including the ongoing McLaren Cup, which runs between 26 January and 9 February. The other tournaments are: The Polo Masters Cup (10-15 Feb), The Julius Baer Gold Cup (16 Feb to 9 March), The Dubai Challenge Cup (14-23 March) and The Dubai Cup (6-13 April).