Renard D'Irelande gets first run in over year in Taunton's main race
Racegoers are in for another treat this afternoon when Taunton host their third card of the season, where the first of the seven races is due off at 12.35pm.
Despite all of the recent wet weather, the going at the Orchard Portman will be soft, which has attracted more than 60 runners.
The afternoon's action is sponsored by the Totepool and boasts total prize money of £35,000.
First up is the a selling hurdle over two miles and furlong where top weight Oscar Hill, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Tom O'Brien, is likely to be strongly fancied. Those looking for better money might want to look at the Rebecca Curtis-trained Take of Shoc's or go each way on Colin Tizzard's entry Avec Moi Ce Soir.
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Second to post is the 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle over two miles three and a half furlongs, which has 14 runners declared, the biggest of the day.
Paul Nicholls' only runner on the card Suerte Al Salto, second here last time over a slightly longer distance, has to be the horse to follow in this race, although Subtle Sovereign, trained by Harry Fry, is also likely to challenge for honours.
The big race, a Class 3 Beginners Chase with £9,000 up for grabs, is next to post. Kandari, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, and Renard D'Irelande, trained by Venetia Williams and re-appearing after an absence of 581 days, are both expected to feature.
Well Sharp, from the O'Neill stable under Richie McLernon is expected to attract a lot of interest in the Totepool.com Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) over just short of two and a half miles at 2.15pm.
However, it is worth looking at Nicky Henderson's only entry Titan De Sarti, the ride of David Bass, while those fancying an each way tilt might want to try Jeremy Scott's Quaddick Lake, a regular performer at Taunton.
In the longest race on the card, a Novices' Handicap Hurdle over three miles and half furlong, the Mark Gillard-trained Bravo Bravo looks a likely winner.
Better money will be had for Flying Vic, Tim Vaughan's only runner, and Billy No Name from Colin Tizzard's stable at Milborne Port, near Sherborne.
The penultimate race on the card, the Totepool.Com Handicap Chase of just short of two miles four furlongs, is expected to see Jim Old's Thedreamstillalive go to post as favourite, but For the Staff, trained by Jackie du Plessis at Saltash, has to be worth a second look.
Alan King's only entry, Miss Exhibitionist, has to be looked at for the final race, a Mares' Handicap Hurdle over two miles one, but Queens Grove – trained locally by Kevin Bishop was a winner at Taunton two weeks ago over a slightly shorter distance – also has to be seriously considered.
For all information regarding tickets, call 01823 337 172 or visit www.tauntonracecourse.co.uk Racegoers are reminded that a courtesy coach service departs from Taunton Railway Station an hour before racing begins, picking up at the Bus Station shortly afterwards and returning from the course 30 minutes after the last race.