Yesterday the Qualifying Tournament “90 Aniversario de la AAP“ started at Palermo. Six teams fight for one of the two remaining spots in the Hurling Open and the Argentine Open.

In the opening match Cuatro Vientos and Las Overas met. After a balanced first chukker (1-1) Cuatro Vientos took the control due to their fantastic team play and at the end of fifth chukker they led by a comfortable 8-2. But Las Overas did not capitulate without a fight, came back into play and narrowed the gap in the sixth chukker to 8-6 (for Cuatro Vientos). After the 8-8 equalizer in the seventh and last chukker everything was again up in the air. It was Agustín García Grossi (+8) who ensured his team Cuatro Vientos the 9-8 victory by converting a 60-yards penalty.

The second encounter between La Matera, runner up of the Jockey Club Open, and La Vanguardia was highly competitive, too. Up to the fifth chukker La Vanguardia dominated the match. But La Matera kept it up, fought to close the gap and accomplished a 7-7 draw in the sixth chukker. In the last chukker La Vanguardia did its utmost to win back the lead, but in the end they had to acknowledge defeat, 8-10.


Just before the match, POLO+10 spoke to the +7-goaler Ezequiel Martínez Ferrario of team La Vanguardia about their chances, goals and the final of the Palermo Open.

How often did the La Vanguardia Team play in the Hurlingham Open and the Palermo Open?
This will be the second year ‘La Vanguardia’ plays in the Qualy. One of the goals is to reach the Palermo Open, and if it’s not this year it’ll be in the next for sure.

La Vanguardia plays a team handicap of +28. In the Qualifying Tournament, there is only one other team with such a low team handicap. How realistic do you think are your chances?
The chances are always there. You play the tournament with the desire to be able to qualify. I think the team’s handicap doesn’t mean much in the match’s final result… to my understanding, collective work, sacrifice and solidarity are more important… and then there’s the most important thing of all… the horses of course (laughs).

Which tactics will you use to win?
We have to play with the maximum amount of concentration possible, without committing fouls… the key is to not become disorganized.

Which team is hardest to defeat in the Qualifying Tournament?
The group turned out to be really tough. Both teams that integrate our group (‘La Matera’ and ‘Chapaleufu’) reached the Jockey Club Open final a week ago. It’s not going to be easy to qualify. The ‘Chapaleufu’ team, besides having three Heguys in their lineup (Alberto, Bautista and Eduardo) has the best group of horses making them the toughest in the tournament.

How did you prepare for the tournament?
Preparation begun as soon as the 2012 Qualy ended, we tried to improve our horses as well as our lineup and individual performance.

Please, present the four players of the team. What are their strengths and function in the team?
position 1: Gonzalo Deltour (+7): He has great cueing… he plays really well up front.
position 2: Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario (+7): I think my greatest virtue is marking.
position 3: Ignacio Laprida (+7): He’s the team’s strategist, he organizes us.
position 4: Santiago Toccalino (+7): Real solid defense, he gives up a lot for the team.

How many ponies do you bring to the Qualifying Tournament?
To the Qualy we take eight horses each, but we mostly use our best four or five and the rest are there for backup.

How important is the Qualifying Tournament for you and your team?
It’s the most important tournament of the year, not just for us, for ‘La Vanguardia’ and our families as well.

Which team is the favorite of the Qualifying Tournament?
‘Chapaleufu’ in Group B and ‘Magual’ in Group A, but anything can happen.

Who do you think will win the Palermo Open 2013?
Ellerstina’ is the hands down favorite; Facundo Pieres is having an amazing year.

Do you think there will be a final between Ellerstina and La Dolfina again?
I believe this two teams are an echelon higher than the rest… it’s almost certain they’ll meet again this year.

Results:
Thursday, 26th September 2013

Cuatro Vientos

:

Las Overas

9

:

8

La Matera

:

La Vanguardia

10

:

8



Schedule:
Tuesday, 1st October 2013
1 pm

Chapaleufú

:

La Vanguardia
3 pm

Magual

:

Las Overas


Monday, 7th October 2013
3 pm

Chapaleufú

:

La Matera


Tuesday, 8th October 2013
3 pm

Magual

:

Cuatro Vientos




The teams of the Qualifying Tournament “90 Aniversario de la AAP”:
Zone A
Magual (+32)
Alejandro Muzzio (+8)
Ignacio Toccalino (+8)
Marcos Di Paola (+8)
Jaime García Huidobro (+8)

Cuatro Vientos (+29)
Juan Martin Zavaleta, Jr. (+7)
Juan Agustín García Grossi (+8)
Alejandro Agote (+8)
Santiago Tanoira (+6)

Las Overas (+28)
Salvador Ulloa (+7)
Valerio Zubiaurre, Jr. (+7)
Guillermo Willington (+7)
Alfredo Capella Barabucci (+7)

Zone B
Chapaleufú (+30)
Alberto Heguy (+7)
Francisco Elizalde (+7)
Bautista Heguy (+8)
Eduardo Heguy (+8)

La Matera (+29)
Diego Cavanagh (+7)
Guillermo Terrera, Jr. (+7)
Ignatius Du Plessis (+7)
Tomás García del Río (+8)

La Vanguardia (+28)
Gonzalo Deltour (+7)
Ezequiel Martínez Ferrario (+7)
Ignacio Laprida (+7)
Santiago Toccalino (+7)