Spain Relationship with Spain colleague Pique is ‘very good’, says Ramos Rob Lancaster 04:16 10/6/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Claudio Villa/Getty Images Spain Spain v Albania Albania WC Qualification Europe Sergio Ramos Julen Lopetegui’s Roja host Albania on Friday before travelling to Israel for their final World Cup qualifying game in Group G Sergio Ramos insists the Spain squad are united in the goal of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup – and has backed up Gerard Pique’s comments about the pair’s “very good” relationship.Ahead of Friday’s qualifier against Albania, the Real Madrid defender spoke about a difficult week for his country following the violence at the Catalan independence referendum last Sunday.However, while airing his belief that sport and politics shouldn’t mix, Ramos hopes the country can now come together to cheer on the national team, as they bid to maintain top spot in Group G and secure a place in Russia next year. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. Julen Lopetegui’s side sit three points clear of nearest rivals Italy in the standings, with their home tie against Albania followed by a trip to Israel on Monday.”It is a mistake to mix politics and sport. It has not been an easy week – we must focus on Albania,” Ramos told the media.”We have all been united by the goal of the Albania game and to go one step further for the World Cup.”It would be my fourth World Cup and it is something that fills me with pride, like being here, in every game, in every training session with Spain.”¡Qué pasada es entrenar en el Rico Pérez! #SEFlive pic.twitter.com/U4blsJds6a— Selección Española (@SeFutbol) October 5, 2017Ramos was also asked about Pique, who declared his continued commitment to the national team on Wednesday despite being booed by supporters during an open training session earlier in the week.There was speculation the central-defensive pairing had fallen out over a tweet Barcelona’s Pique posted in support of the controversial vote in Catalonia, but Spain’s captain dismissed the idea of a rift.”We have a very good relationship even though we think differently. There should not be any problem between us,” Ramos said.
The talented 4-y-o filly, PUDDY POOH, should upstage her six opponents and win the 3-y-o and up open allowance feature over the straight-five course at Caymanas Park today.When last raced on February 20, the Richard Azan-trained PUDDY POOH, who won the 1000 Guineas as a 3-y-o last season, found the champion sprinter POKER STAR too hot to handle in the season’s first grade-one race, the Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy over 1300 metres. But in all fairness, she was not disgraced in finishing 6 1/2 lengths fifth after missing the break.Before that on December 5, PUDDY POOH romped the Betting and Gaming Stakes Trophy over 1400 metres, covering the distance in the smart time of 1:23.4 behind fast splits of 22.0 and 45.0 for the half-mile.Having worked well in preparation for today’s encounter and dropping down in class as well, PUDDY POOH will prove hard to beat with a mere 50.0kg, inclusive of apprentice Odean Edwards’ 3.0kg claiming allowance.The bay filly by Adore The Gold out of Shahar can expect worthwhile competition from the speedy four-year-old colts, ROYAL ASSAULT and SMOKEY TOPAZ, but she apparently has a bit more class than either and should rebound with a win under these favourable conditions.Elsewhere on the 10-race programme, champion trainer Wayne DaCosta holds the key to the opening race (non-winners of three) over the straight with the consistent SILVER CLOUD and speedy DRIPPING IN GOLD.While the latter is expected to lead the seven-horse field, his recent form is not as appealing as the grey SILVER CLOUD, who gets the nod under four-time champion Omar Walker.I also like MACALLAN to win the second race over 1100 metres for maiden three-year-olds, BIG DATA to do likewise in division two, as well as QUEEN OF THE TOWN in the fifth, GIRSHOM in the seventh and the fleet-footed FIRE ALARM under leading jockey Dane Nelson in the eighth race over the straight.