TAUNTON Racegoers look to be in for another great afternoon of National Hunt action today, when the Orchard Portman course host their Festive Meeting when the first of the seven races on the card is due to post at 12.28pm.

With 69 runners declared, good going and the weather set fair top trainers Paul Nicholls, Alan King, David Pipe, Philip Hobbs,Emma Lavelle, Fergak O’Brien and Nicky Henderson all have runners while leading jockeys Harry Cobden, Brendan Powell, Tom O’Brien, Adam Wedge and James Bowen are all booked for rides.

The card contains two Class 3 events the first of which is the Dave Criddle Travel Handicap Chase over two miles two furlongs which is worth £7624 to the winning connections.

Somerset County Gazette:

Midnight Midge, trained by Hobbs and ridden by Ben Jones who won at Taunton two weeks ago looks to be the one to look out for here along with Huelgoat another who has enjoyed success at the course for the Cobden/ Nicholls combination.

The second Class 3 race is the Classic Collection Holidays handicap Hurdle half an hour later which runs over two miles three and has a first prize of £6750. 

In the small field of four its hard not to go for Nicky Henderson’s Hyland, his only entry on the day, ridden by James Bowen.

In addition to the racing action the King’s College choir and musicians will be adding some festive cheer to the occasion as well as which there will be a number of Christmas themed trade stands.

Punters are reminded that a courtesy coach service departs from outside platform 5 at Taunton Railway Station 90 minutes before the off returning half and hour after the start of the final race.

Taunton race again on Wednesday 21st December when the first event is due off at 12.50pm

For all further information log onto www.tauntonracecourse.co.uk

Last week, local trainer David Pipe notched up his half century of winners for the 2022-23 season when Only the Bold won at Bangor on Dee at 5-1 on Saturday ridden by Fergus Gillard.

The Nicholashayne-based handler said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank both my owners and staff for all their support and hard work.

"Without them, none of our achievements would be possible and we are going to keep kicking and try to get as many winners as possible.”