TAUNTON host their fourth meeting of the month on Thursday afternoon when the first of the seven races on the card which has a total prize fund of almost £69k is due off at 1.30pm, writes Richard Walsh.

With the going soft, heavy in places a total of 50 horses have been declared with all of the leading trainers including Paul Nicholls, David Pipe, Emma Lavelle, Venetia Williams, Philip Hobbs Joe Tizzard and Alan King all having runners while top jockeys Paddy Brenan, Nick Schofield, Harry Cobden, Paul O’Brien and Jonjo O’Neil Junior all booked to ride, another exciting afternoon of racing looks assured.

The most valuable and longest race of the day is the Invest SouthWest Handicap Hurdle (Class3) over just short of three miles which carries a prize pot of £13,800 and is due to post at 3.50pm.

The two fancied horses here have both got local connections- Iberio, ridden by Micheal Nolan for Philip Hobbs is owned by locally based Brocade Racing, while Mr Tambourine Man under Jack Tudor is trained by David Pipe.

On racedays a courtesy coach service departs from outside Platform 5 of Taunton Railway Station 90 minutes before the off, returning from the course half an hour after the start of the last.

Taunton’s ever popular Ladies Day Meeting takes place this year on Thursday 13th April, when the first race is due to post at 1.25pm.

Punters are reminded that Taunton Racecourse offers very generous discounts on tickets purchased on-line in advance before 12 noon on the day prior to racing.

Looking further ahead the Orchard Portman Course  will be hosting a Royal Ascot Lunch on Saturday 24th June, which will include a drink on arrival, two course lunch. racing host, in house bookmaker and afternoon all for just £39 per person.

To book tickets or to find out more log onto www.tauntonracecourse.co.uk