On Tuesday afternoon at 4PM the first leg of Argentina’s Triple Crown of polo, the Tortugas Open, will begin featuring the cream of the Argentine polo world. League A will consist of La Dolfina (40), La Aguada (36) and Magual (33). League B is composed of Ellerstina (38), Alegria (36) and La Aguada/Las Monjitas (33).
A proud La Aguada team (Facundo Sola, Guillermo Caset Jr., Miguel Novillo Astrada and Ignacio Novillo Astrada), honoring their brother Javier Novillo Astrada, will take the field against Magual (Alejandro Muzzio, Ignacio Toccalino, Marcos Di Paola and Jaime Garcia Huidobro).
It’s been eleven years since a La Aguada made a big impact on the polo scene in Buenos Aires, but it was the 2003 team (Javier Novillo Astrada, Eduardo Novillo Astrada, Miguel Novillo Astrada and Ignacio Novillo Astrada) that won not one but all three legs of the Argentine Triple Crown, marking the first time in history that four brothers played together on a championship Argentine Open team.
This year’s La Aguada entry reinforced its lineup with the brilliant young Sapo Caset and a talented Facundo Sola. Magual will rely upon a less-seasoned entry but a very capable opponent for their first high-goal outing of the season.
The Tortugas Open will be played at the Tortugas Country Club and will run from September 23rd to the October 11th final.
Four other teams will be competing in the Tortugas Open to include: Ellerstina (Facundo Pieres, Gonzalo Pieres Jr., Mariano Aguerre and Nicolas Pieres); Alegria (Polito Pieres, Hilario Ulloa, Lucas Monteverde and Frederick Mannix); La Aguada/Las Monjitas (Lucas James, Cristian Laprida, Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Alejandro Novillo Astrada) and the defending winner from last year, the 40-goal La Dolfina polo team (Adolfo Cambiaso, David Stirling, Pablo MacDonough and Juan Martin Nero).
On Wednesday Alegria is scheduled to play La Aguada/Las Monjitas. Freddie Mannix and his La Aguada team were finalists in last year’s Argentine Open and look to take advantage of the experience and improve on their chances this year. The La Aguada/Las Monjitas team will field two more Astradas in Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Alejandro Novillo Astrada, hoping that the Astradas will be more effective with separate efforts than combined.
The two highest rated teams in the competition, La Dolfina (40) and Ellerstina (38) won’t play until this weekend. On Saturday, September 27th La Dolfina will face the loser of the La Aguada vs. Magual game. On Sunday, September 28th Ellerstina will battle the loser of the Alegria vs. La Aguada/Las Monjitas squad.
The following Saturday La Dolfina will play the winner of the La Aguada vs. Magual game while Ellerstina will play the winner of the Alegria vs. La Aguada/Las Monjitas tilt.
The final will be played against the winner of Leagues A and B on Saturday, September 11th.