French flair adds to excitement at polo’s Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup

Action from the Cooch Behar Cup match Picture by Clive Bennett
Action from the Cooch Behar Cup match Picture by Clive Bennett
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The second weekend of polo action in the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open Championship saw five matches played in the series with the feature match seeing Enigma take on Talandracas for the Cooch Behar Cup.

Two French patrons led the teams in – Jerome Wirth for Enigma and Edouard Carmignac for Talandracas.

Wirth, a former Division A rugby player in France, has been playing polo for only six years, while Carmignac has been on the scene a lot longer with many trophies to his credit, including a win in this year’s prestigious Queens Cup at Guards Polo Club.

Joining Wirth in his Enigma team, stabled on the Cowdray Estate, were ten-goal player Juan Martin Nero, Matias MacDonough (eight goals) and Juan Jauretche (four), all Argentines.

The Talandracas side included Facundo Sola (seven), seen in the UK for the first time this season, astonishing talent Lucas Monteverde (eight) and the solid experience of eight-goal player Milo Fernandez Araujo. In a fast and free-flowing game, Enigma were the first to score, MacDonough successful from a fine field goal, followed by a huge lofted shot from Nero to end the first chukka 2-0.

Lovely open team polo from both sides saw Talandracas level the scores for the first time in the third chukka, but by the end of the period once again Enigma were ahead 5-4.

Talandracas equalised again at 5-5 in the fourth chukka, but Enigma began to pull away from then on – largely through the efforts of MacDonough who was on fire.

Even a yellow card shown to him in the fifth chukka failed to quash his enthusiasm and brilliance.

A score of 12-8 to Enigma gave the crowd the enjoyment of 20 goals and Enigma some valuable points on the leaderboard as the tournament heads to the quarter-finals this weekend, when the feature match will be the Argentine Ambassadors’ Cup at the Lawns grounds on Sunday. More details on www.cowdraypolo.co.uk