TAUNTON Racecourse is preparing for a busy afternoon of racing today, as the venue hosts its Post Christmas Meeting - the first of the seven races on the card going to post at 12.45pm.

With soft going, 84 horses declared, all of the top trainers represented and many leading jockeys engaged for rides, plus a sunny afternoon forecast, it looks likely to be a fine day of National Hunt racing action.

Topping the bill on what is always Taunton’s biggest meeting of the year is the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed), a Class One event at 2.25pm, over two miles and half a furlong, which has a whopping prize pot of £22,000 up for grabs.

The race has attracted a strong entry and is likely to be very keenly contested between Marie’s Rock (trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville), Silver Forever (ridden by up-and-coming young jockey Harry Cobden, for Paul Nicholls) and Deja Vue, from the Anthony Honeyball yard under Aidan Coleman.

Those wanting a little more value might want to look at Midnight's Gift, Alan King’s runner with Thomas Bellamy on board.

Others that might be worth looking out for during the afternoon are Emma Lavelle’s Manofthemountain in the 1.30pm, The Boola Bee ridden by local favourite Tom Buckley for Nigel Hawke in the 2.55pm, and Twenty Twenty trained by Gary Moore in the last race of the day.

Racegoers are reminded that a courtesy coach departs from the main entrance at Taunton Railway Station 90 minutes before the off, and returns 30 minutes after the start of the last race.

The advice to anyone attending is to arrive in plenty of time to avoid the last minutes queues.

For any further information, you can visit the racecourse website.