THE sun shone and a large crowd was present when Taunton Racecourse held their Ladies Day Meeting at Orchard Portman on Thursday, writes Richard Walsh.

The kindly weather made it a colourful occasion and many racegoers entered into the spirit of the occasion and turned out in the finery to enjoy what is always a special afternoon of racing action and be in with a chance of winning a weekend for two in Paris f kindly donated by Dave Criddle Travel of Taunton.

To celebrate it being Ladies Day the first two winners on the day  ridden by femaie jockeys- the opener was won by Sir Ivan and ridden by Megan Bevan for Harry Fry, while Bryony Frost, always a favourite with the crowd rode Iliko D’olivate to victory in the second for Paul Nicholls.

West Somerset trainer Jeremy Scott, enjoyed success when Phoenix Ridden won the Invest SouthWest handicap Hurdle race over two miles and half a furlong ridden by David Pritchard after going off at 10-3 favourite.

As well as the action on the course there was some musical entertainment provided by the ‘River Tones’ that was enjoyed by all and suited the occasion very well.

The curtain comes down on another season at Taunton Racecourse when they host their ever popular Evening Meeting on Thursday 27th April when the first race is due off at 5.15pm.

The most valuable race on the card which has a total prize fund of almost £57k is The Invest SouthWest Novices’ Handicap Steeplechase over two miles and seven furlongs at 6.25pm which has £12,300 up for grabs.

The other race over the jumps course is The Charles Clark Memorial Steeple Chase at 7.35pm which has prize money of £10,300 available. The winning owner of this race will be presented with The Charles Clark Memorial Trophy.

The longest race on the evening is the final event, The Rowcliffe’s Mare’s Handicap Hurdle which runs over three miles and is due off at 8.10pm.

Punters are reminded that Taunton offers generous discounts of up to 20% on tickets purchased on line in advance before 12 noon on the day prior to racing.

To take advantage of this and for all other enquiries log onto

A courtesy coach service departs from outside platform 5 of Taunton Railway Station 90 minutes before the first race, returning from the course half an hour after the beginning of the last.

Taunton 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.