His team will not only feature 10-goal star Facundo Pieres but also Brazil’s top player, Rodrigo Andrade. This impressive duo experienced success in this tournament in 2013 with Zacara and will be keen to repeat that feat in 2019. There are several other familiar names in the mix – 2018 finalists, Andrey Borodin’s Park Place, again featuring tournament top scorer Juan Britos – and 2011 winners, the Carmignac family’s Talandracas team. Spencer McCarthy’s Emlor, winners of the 2018 Cartier Trophy (sub final) are hoping to go even further this year by fielding a strong combination of Alfredo Bigatti, Agustin Merlos and Fred Mannix Jnr.
Rashid Albwardy’s Dubai makes a welcome return and will be looking to secure their seventh win in this competition. The Middle East is also represented by HH Sheikha Maitha’s UAE Polo Team, featuring Guillermo Caset and Santiago Toccalino. It is good to see Top Srivaddhanaprabha and his VS King Power team back in this high-goal mix too. Guards patrons Alessandro Bazzoni (Monterosso) and Hilali Noordeen (Casa La Vista Ibiza) are also returning to contest for honours in this world-class contest.
Corinne Ricard is the only lady patron in the mix, bringing her Murus Sanctus Polo Team to play the high-goal this season. This year she can call on the impressive, high-goal experience of Gonzalo Pieres. Fellow Frenchman Jean-Francois Decaux is bringing some of the sport’s big guns to his La Bamba de Areco matches – 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero and 9-goaler David Stirling – ensuring they will deliver some fast-paced polo.
The final team to this list is a new name to the 22-goal polo here in the UK – David Paradice’s Scone Polo. This Australian is no stranger to the game at the highest level though and with Nico Pieres and England captain James Beim in Scone shirts, they definitely warrant being on anyone’s shortlist.