Nicholls charge can defy a mammoth absence



Alan Thompson has two racing selections for Tuesday, one at Wincanton returning from a long break and the other developing into a course specialist at Newcastle…

Diese Des Bieffes can win for Nicholls

Back Diese Des Bieffes @ 9/2 in the 13:05 Wincanton

One horse I am really interested in seeing run on Tuesday is Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls’ striking seven-year-old grey Diese Des Bieffes. We haven’t see him on a course for 972 days, but the Nicholls team are well known for doing extremely well with his French imports and I have a feeling that Diese Des Bieffes could be another of those. Last time we saw him run was when winning a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in 2018 for Nicky Henderson over this trip. He clearly has had his issues since but the fact he is now with the Nicholls team, has recently undergone wind surgery and goes over fences for the first time is highly interesting.

He ran six times over hurdles winning three of them and obtaining a mark of 138 in the process, including a fifth in the 2018 renewal of the Martin Pipe. Make no mistake this will be a tremendous training effort to get him ready after 972 days off the course. But he could be a class above these rivals and on his way to bigger and better events.

Perfect Swiss is hard to oppose at Newcastle

Back Perfect Swiss @ 2/1 in the 15:45 Newcastle

There aren’t too many jockeys that ride Newcastle as well as Phil Dennis and he looks to have a plum ride in Perfect Swiss for trainer Tim Easterby. The four-year-old is in the form of his life at present with two wins and three runner-up finishes from his last five starts. He is up 2lb for his most recent success, but with course and distance form figures of 117221, he seems to excel at this straight mile and with Dennis on board again today the pair look hard to beat again.

The one to fear could be Pacino, the Richard Fahey charge running in the Dr Marwan Koukash colours. It may be 17 runs since his last win in 2019 but a creditable third of 10 in handicap at Wolverhampton 24 days ago followed a second here over course and distance. These two efforts suggest he has dropped far enough down the handicap to be a major threat. However, I think he could have to settle for second place again today.