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With the rapid return to obscurity, for the time being at least, of Great Leighs, privately-owned Taunton can still claim to be Britain’s second-newest racecourse behind Ffos Las having first opened for business in 1927. Found at Orchard Portman, two miles south of the Somerset town, it was built on the former Portman estate, racing having earlier been staged in the same area at West Monkton, Bridgwater and Trull Moor.
An almost oval right-handed track approximately 1m2f in circumference, there are sharp bends away from the stands and at the turn into the home straight, though the corners are less severe on the outside hurdles course. The fences are close together in the home and back straight and it is essential to get into a rhythm. Converts from the Flat do well in hurdles races over the minimum trip. The track’s season usually runs from November to May.
Paul Nicholls, Venetia Williams and John Ferguson’s runners are always worth a second look while Alan King, Philip Hobbs and David Pipe’s chasers need closely monitoring, particularly in novice events. Vic Dartnall’s hurdlers have a good strike rate as well.
Monday 20th March Results
Thursday 2nd March Results
Tuesday 21st February Results
Sunday 5th February Results