The draw for the 2018 McLaren Cup was held at The St. Regis Dubai, at Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, on Monday, January 22. The championship, an 18-goal competition, enters its ninth year under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is composed of five tournaments:
–Silver Cup: January 26 – February 9.
–Polo Masters Cup: February 10 – 15.
–Julius Baer Gold Cup: February 16 – March 9.
–Dubai Challenge Cup: March 14 – 23.
–Dubai Cup: April 6 – 13.
Founded by Mohammed Al Habtoor in 2009, the tournament is the most prestigious polo competition region, attracting VIPs, society figures, and senior corporate executives from around the world. The Series has grown in tandem with the city of Dubai, and as of 2012, it is the only tournament in the United Arab Emirates to be recognized and certified by the World Polo Tour (WPT).
The Series is supported by the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), with tournaments being played under strict international supervision, with HPA umpires enforcing HPA rules.
Mohammed Al Habtoor, Founder of the Gold Cup Series and patron of Habtoor Polo team, stated: “This year there are six teams playing in the McLaren Cup. The participating teams will host some of the top-ranking world polo tour players, including Pablo Mac Donough, the 10-goal superstar and three-time Triple Crown Champion with La Dolfina; Polito Pieres, another 10-goal figure and winner of the 2012 Gold Cup in England; Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario [8-goals]; Francisco Elizalde [8-goals], and many others who have come directly from Argentine Open.”
The final of the McLaren Cup will take place on February 9, as of 1pm, at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club, located in Dubai Land.
The six participating teams of the 2018 McLaren Cup are the following:
Bin Drai: Rashid Bin Drai 1, Andrés Laplacette 4, Matias Torres Zavaleta 7, Raúl Laplacette 6. Total: 18.
Habtoor Polo Team: Mohammed Al Habtoor 0, Jack Hyde 4, Bautista Ortiz de Urbina 6, Francisco Elizalde 8. Total: 18.
Mahra Polo Team: Rashid Al Habtoor 0, Benjamín Urquiza 5, Isidro Strada 6, Jero del Carril 6. Total: 17.
UAE Polo Team: HH Shaikha Maitha 0, Pablo Avalos 2, Matías Benoit 6, Polito Pieres 9. Total: 17.
Wolves Polo Team: Habtoor Al Habtoor 1, Matias Diego González Miguel 2, Ezequiel Martínez Ferrario 8, Manuel Crespo 7. Total: 18.
Zedan Polo Team: Amr Zedan 0, Tomás Panelo 3, Martín Gándara 5, Pablo Mac Donough 10. Total: 18.
On the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series:
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series was founded in 2009 by Mohammed Al Habtoor, patron of The Habtoor Polo team. Each year the tournament reaches new heights. In 2012, the Gold Cup was recognized by the World Polo Tour (WPT), and in January 2014, the WPT committee credited The Gold Cup tournament as the most prestigious competition in terms of points within The Challenge Cup category, with 50 points being awarded for the winner. In 2015, the WPT upgraded the tournament from ‘Challenge Cup’ category to the highly coveted ‘WPT Cup’ category, with winners receiving 60 points. In 2017, the tournament was ranked in the WPT Championship Cup category, with winners now receiving 80 points. The McLaren Cup, also known as The Silver Cup, is ranked under the WPT Challenge Cup Category, with winners receiving 30 points.