NATIONAL Hunt racing returns to Taunton when they host their first meeting of the new season on Thursday November 10, with the first of the six races on the card going to post at 1.15pm.

Taunton has always been more than generous when it comes to prize money and the opening meeting boasts a very generous pot of over £57k, with the most valuable race offering total prize money of £12,400.

First up at 1.15pm is the Racing to School Conditional Jockeys’ Selling Hurdle over two miles three furlongs. The Racing to School participants on this occasion will be students from Bridgwater College.

Next to post at 1.50pm is the Cornish Rock Gin Novices’ Hurdle Race which is also over two miles three furlongs.

The most valuable race on the card follows next with the Invest Southwest Novices’ Handicap Steeple Chase over two miles two furlongs which is due off at 2,25pm and is worth almost £6k to the winner.

The Summerfield Maiden Hurdle Race over two miles half a furlong is next at 3pm before the penultimate action of the day the Stables Business Park Handicap Steeple Chase run over two miles seven furlongs, the longest of the meeting is due off 35 minutes later.

Somerset County Gazette: Ladies Day at Taunton Racecourse.

The afternoon’s entertainment concludes with the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Race over two miles three furlongs, which has an attractive prize fund of £10,100 up for grabs.

David Griffin, the chairman of Taunton Racecourse, is hoping that cancelling meetings, because of hard ground, is going to be a thing of the past.

Now into his second year in post the chairman said: “We are working towards improving the watering facilities so that we won’t get these early season cancellations.

“We are making new bore holes so that we can fill the reservoirs, in the centre of the course, faster than we empty them.

Racegoers are reminded that a courtesy coach service departs from Platform 5 at Taunton Railway Station 90 minutes before the first race returning 30 minutes after the start of the last.

A generous discount of up to 40% is available on tickets purchased in advance before 12 noon on the day prior to racing.

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