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TODAY AT CHELTENHAM
A fascinating renewal of The Champion Chase, despite the fact that Altior has come out of the race. Last year’s winner Politologue is still in however and taking it’s chance. Nube Negra was impressive in lowering Altior’s colours in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton over Christmas and the Skelton team will be happy with the drying ground for this Spanish bred gelding. It’s all about Chacun Pour Soi for me despite the quality in the field.
He was my banker at the Cheltenham festival last year with connections forced to withdraw late on due to a stone bruise. He will make up for lost time on Wednesday and his performances this season have been sensational particular last time in winning at the Dublin Racing Festival back in February. Ground either way won’t be a problem and Chacun Por Soi and Paul Townend can show the rest a clean pair of heels.
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La Liga heavyweights Atletico Madrid travel to Stamford Bridge looking to overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg and knock an English side out of the competition for the second season in succession. Thomas Tuchel’s side dropped points against Leeds last weekend in what has to be a disappointing result. Atletico come into the return leg in much better form domestically and sit six points clear at the top of the table in La Liga.
The one-goal deficit will not faze Atletico or their manager Diego Simeone as they have been here before and came out on top. Once again no crowds in the stands is a huge disadvantage to the home side in the return leg and I expect a late night at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Atletico Madrid have come away with a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 victory in their last two visits to Stamford Bridge. I don’t expect many goals but I expect the away side to sneak a 1-0 win and force this tie into Extra-Time.
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