The weather has played havoc recently with heavy rain creating flooding in the local area and then the racecourse experiencing four nights of -4c and below last week, resulting in the abandonment of our Saturday meeting, writes Martin Higgs.  

It is all really disappointing for everyone concerned but, unfortunately, the weather is an uncontrollable factor which affects our sport. 

With the lack of racing to report on I thought I should highlight a few pointers to help you pick some winners or at least give you a fighting chance. 

Horses are like people and have their own preferences.  I always find that if you can single these out then there’s hope when trying to work out if the race suits them and therefore you have a chance of he/she getting in to the winner’s enclosure.

I’ll start with the ground; I feel this is key in assessing a horse as they all have different ways of galloping.  Horses with a high knee action will like soft/heavy ground as they are able to claw their way through the mud.  Horses with a less exaggerated action will struggle, but however will be much happier on firmer ground where they will be able to skip across the top of the surface.  Most horses have a going preference and this is a top criterion when looking for a winner in my book. 

Next up consider the track , left handed, right handed, flat or undulating.  Again another important factor to consider when looking at a race. 

Then form, have a look to see if the horse is running well currently, they go through periods where they thrive, join the band wagon when they do and jump off if they aren’t.

Finally, always consider your jockey and stable form because if both are knocking in the winners that is another positive.

If you can tick all the boxes or the majority of them then you have a fighting chance of having a shout at the business end of the race.  Just remember horses are not machines and anything can happen, so do not treat the above as your route to retirement and your own desert island please.

The racing world heads to Cheltenham this weekend for Festival Trials Day, this includes the Paul Nicholls trained Rubaud (pictured) in what could be an intriguing Unibet Hurdle. There will be plenty of pointers so grab your notebooks and I’ll also highlight a couple for you next week. 

With regards to Taunton we next race on Tuesday 6th February and you can get your early bird discounted tickets at