Higgs On Horses

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22nd January

Life in the fast lane isn’t all what it seems you know.  I entered last weekend confident of a roast beef lunch and a nice bottle of St Emilion, courtesy of Royal Vacation and Thosedaysaregone.  However due to the latter not even getting on the ferry from Ireland and dear old RV fancying an afternoon on the sofa watching the racing, as opposed to participating in it, the Higgs household had to deal with beans and water to satisfy their hunger.  This was preceded by At It’s Own Expense getting stuck in the mud at Ludlow and Lester Kris not being able to run at Taunton due to the unexpected Storm Brendon turning the ground heavy.

If I’m really honest Saturday afternoon at Taunton in the sunshine justified what the game is all about and for once it had no financial implications to yours truly.  It kicked off around 2.45 when on the large screen we all watched Vintage Clouds win the Peter Marsh chase up at Haydock.  There’s nothing better than a front running grey taking control. Time for some live action next as Yala Enki under Bryony Frost took the Portman Cup, having given his all to finish third in the Welsh National last time. To cap it all, thirty five minutes later, Defi Du Seuil took on Un De Sceaux at Ascot.  Racing does not get any better than two mile chasing, it’s not for the faint hearted and one error can finish your race.  The Irish horse led from the tapes with Defi stalking his game tiger-like rival until making ground on the home turn to jump level two out.  A duel to the line looked inevitable until the Hobbs trained star turned on the supercharger and quickened clear like some sort of equine Usain Bolt.  It was an extraordinary performance from the little horse and he now heads straight to Cheltenham. Before the race connections were still undecided as to whether he would go for the two mile Queen Mother Champion Chase or the Ryanair Chase over further. Last Saturday he proved he was royalty and should be flying first class not budget !

I am going to add one to the Horse To Follow list this week and he is Ask Henry. He finished a staying on third at Doncaster and has been given an opening handicap mark of 120, looking at the form figures he returned on his Bumpers I think he is a 125/130 rated horse all day long. Support him on good ground over two and half miles plus.

STOP PRESS…It is Cheltenham Trials Day on Saturday and plenty will turn up with their eyes on the big prizes in March. The day has proved a good hunting ground for finding winners at the Festival with 26 subsequent winners in the last ten years. We will review the results and look for some pointers next week.

For our bet of the weekend we are heading to Doncaster and the Sky Bet Chase. I tipped this horse for the race last year, he was made 3/1 favourite only for him to disappoint, however, hold up tactics were deployed that day and he loves to be prominent. His last run was in the Ladbrokes Trophy in November and he has been held back for this, he has won around Doncaster and races of a 2lb lower mark than last year. Back him each way at 8/1 and let’s hope we are counting the dollars by 3.30 on Saturday afternoon.

Racing Abandoned

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Following an exceptionally dry extended summer the racing scheduled for 31st October has been abandoned due to hard ground on parts of the course.

The course has been vertidrained and irrigated as much as resources allow but only 49mm of rain has fallen on the course since 24th September with 35mm of that on the weekend of 13/14 October.

There has been no measurable rainfall here since 16th October.


Next Fixture

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Sunday 2nd February

Gates open at 11.35am with the First Race at 1.35pm

Buy your tickets online in advance (AVAILABLE UNTIL NOON THE DAY BEFORE) and receive up to 40% discount here : https://tauntonracecourse.co.uk/racing-home/tickets-and-packages/

  • Giant Screen
  • Free Car Parking
  • Admission on the day: £20
  • Accompanied children under 18 years of age admitted free – proof of age may be required.

Join the RacePass 18to24 scheme free of charge and gain half price admission on the day at any Taunton fixture by following this link Once you have received your card just show it at the entrance to receive half price admission.

Courtesy Bus and Directions

A courtesy bus supplied by Berrys Coaches will depart the Railway Station from the main ticket office entrance (platform 5 side)  at 12.05pm  and return 30 minutes after the start of the last race.

A ticket will be issued to those people using the bus from Taunton allowing priority for the return trip. There is no guarantee of a seat for those without a return ticket.

Follow this link for directions to Taunton Racecourse

Going and Weather

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Updated 28th January

Soft, Heavy in Places

Rail positions to be confirmed.

4mm of rain yetserday.
9mm of rain over the weekend.
Forecast an unsettled week ahead with showers most days.

For BBC Weather Forecast Follow this link.

The Entries are In

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Trainers have now entered the horses under their charge and will declare them to run the day before the meeting.

Click Here to see the horses entered for racing on Saturday 18th January