Local punters can get into the mood for the Cheltenham Festival at Taunton on Monday where they host their Spring Meeting when the first of the seven races on the card is due to post at 2.10pm, writes Richard Walsh.

With 80 runners declared, ensuring a good spread across each of the events and the going  Soft, Good to Soft in Places another great afternoon of National Hunt action looks to be in store.

Many of the leading jump’s trainers including Paul Nicholls, Alan King, Colin Tizzard, Vanessa Williams, David Pipe and Harry Fry have horses running and top jockeys including Richard Johnson, Nick Schofield, Sam Twiston-Davies, Richie McLernon, Noel Fehily and Wayne Hutchinson are all booked for rides.

The big race of the day is the SouthWest Racing Handicap Chase over three miles at 3.40pm where local horse Regal Flow trained by Bob Buckler and ridden by Sean Houlihan is well worth an each way bet.

A reminder to racegoers that a free courtesy coach service departs from Taunton Railway Station two hours before the off returning from the course half an hour after the start of the last.

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