If the weather behaves and doesn’t get too cold we hope to stage our only Saturday meeting of 2024 this weekend with excellent ground, considering the amount of rain we have all recently experienced, writes Martin Higgs.  

There are 152 entries spread across 7 races, the first of which is due off at 1.05.  For those of you looking to use our courtesy coach service, it will depart from outside platform 5 of Taunton Railway Station 90 minutes before our first race time and return half an hour after the start of the last.

The day is sponsored by the Stables Business Park and here’s a brief preview of what can be expected.  We start proceedings with the Seren Skills Network Maiden Hurdle and Paul Nicholls has Fire Flyer entered, a promising runner up at Cheltenham in November, he looks to break his duck over hurdles here. 

If you fancy joining us, early bird tickets are available on our website www.taunton-racecourse.co.uk or you can turn up on the day and pay on the gate.

We then move on to the Stables Business Park Handicap Hurdle and course and distance winner Despereaux (pictured) could be the answer here for the South Molton based Jane Williams team.

Onto the Apples & Oranges Mares Chase with Eureka Creek heading the weights, however Whatsdastory finished runner up in this race last year and is 12lb lower in the handicap so she could be the answer over a track and trip that clearly suits. 

Time for the feature and the Stables Business Park Seniors’ Hurdle, a Class 2 event and worth £25,000.  A fine turnout with 2019 Triumph Hurdle winner Pentlands Hills at the top of the handicap, he ran well after a year off in December and shouldn’t be dismissed.  Also take a second look at Ted Hastings who is from the all-conquering Gordon Elliott stable and could well make the trip from County Meath in Ireland.  Having said all that, I have always been a fan of Luttrell Lad and he would be my choice.

A long-distance hurdle is next, supported by the NFU & NFUM, with 6 last time out winners, Danton and Hobb’s Delight are shortlisted here.  Straight to the Saturn Sales And Service Ltd Handicap Chase with Moytier looking an eye-catching entry and is running for the second time after a wind-operation, an angle I like to follow.

Before we know it, we will be watching the Rookery Bridal Handicap Hurdle and Knot on Time would surely be a popular winner and complete a great afternoon’s sport.