The Bathwick Tyres Handicap Hurdle (3.45) at Taunton on Tuesday is a trappy looking affair, despite just seven runners, but Colin Tizzard’s 5-year-old Dusky Lark may be capable of upsetting some better fancied rivals. The Nayef gelding had his limitations exposed when only fifth of seven, beaten 45 lengths, behind Supreme Novices’ Hurdle hopeful Jollyallan at Kempton on Boxing Day, but returned to winning ways over course and distance twelve days ago.
He steps back up in class off an 8lb higher mark, but has been quietly progressive since joining Colin Tizzard from Hughie Morrison in October and, with conditions once again in his favour, may prove equal to the task.
Top weight Dell’ Arca won on his British debut at Cheltenham at the start of the 2013/14 season, but has failed to add to his winning tally in nine starts since, despite going close on more than one occasion. David Pipe’s 6-year-old was just touched off, in this grade, at Cheltenham last month, but is 3lb higher in the weights this time and may be worth taking on at a short price.
With similar doubts about Ibis Du Rheu, who was well beaten on his British debut, albeit at Grade 2 level, and Tornado In Milan, who steps up in class off a 16lb higher mark after an easy course and distance win three weeks ago, Dusky Lark could represent a shade of value at 8/1 with Bet365 or Sky Bet in the early price lists.
Selection: Taunton 3.45 Dusky Lark to win (8/1 with Bet365 or Sky Bet)