Taunton’s New Year Race meeting was attended by a bumper crowd and ticked all the boxes for those who went along, writes Richard Walsh.

The weather stayed fine apart from one shower, there were plenty of runners, some close finishes and to cap it all a 200-1 winner in the opening event.

Exmoor based trainer Nicky Martin had hardly recovered from winning the Welsh Grand National when Two Amigos came home in front to earn a cool £80k than she looked on in amazement when Inspiratrice bolted up to win the opening race by four and a half lengths at 200-1.

Horses winning at these big odds are rare indeed and this is only the ninth such occurrence since the Racing Post started to keep records.

Local MP Rebecca Pow was on hand to present the trophy to the winner of the League of Friends of Musgrove Park Novices’Handicap Chase Love Actually, owned by Mrs Michells Crook who went off at 11-1.

The Byerley Stud Mares’ Novices’Hurdle Race  at 2.15pm a Class One event with a prize purse of £22k up for grabs, the most valuable on the card,  provided a close finish. After a chase to the line it was the Harry Fry trained Credrjava who went off at 4-1 came home one and a quarter lengths in front of 8-11 favourite She’s A Saint.

The next race The Farewell Doctor John Heathcock Handicap Hurdle produced an even closer finish  when the Ben Pauling trained Apple Rock a 9-2 shot came home in front of The Changing Man from Joe Tizzard’s yard  by just half a length.

The Longest event of the day is The Claire Hitch 50th Birthday Handicap Steeple Chase  over more than three miles  and two furlongs was won by Leading Knight at 11-1 by a neck from the Philip Hobbs trained Advantura the 3-1 favourite.

The final race was won by 16 year old jockey Freddie Gingell on board Fame and Fun (7-2) for Nicholls, just a neck ahead of Couldbeaweapon (5-2 favourite) trained by Ben Pauling.

Taunton race again on on Monday January 9th when the first of the races gets going at 12.55pm and a very generous prize pot of £60,499 is up for grabs.

For this meeting Taunton have a Two for One ticket offer so anyone going along should log on and buy tickets now.

The big race on the day is the Summerfield Development Novices’ Limited Handicap Steeple Chase a Class Three event over two miles 12 yards at 1.25pm which has £12,500 on offer.

This is followed at 2.30 by the Geoffrey Bosley Tally Ho Open Hunter Steeple Chase over two miles seven furlongs, which is likely to attract a lot of interest from followers of Point to Point.

A second Class Three event follows when the Stables Business Park Handicap Hurdle over two mies three goes to post half an hour later.

 Punters are reminded that generous discounts are on offer for group bookings and anyone who books their tickets on-line in advance before 12 noon on the day prior to racing.

A courtesy coach service picks up from outside platform 5 of Taunton railway Station 90 minutes before the off and returns half an hour after the start of the last.

To book tickets and for all further information log onto www,tauntonracecourse.co.uk