THE weather for racegoers was far from the best with heavy rain falling in the morning but it didn’t turn local punters away and they turned out in large numbers to see Taunton’s opening meeting of the season.

With the going good to soft and 83 runners those who went along were treated to a grand afternoon of national hunt action

The opening race saw Lady Gwen, who went off at 9-2, triumph for trainer Kim Bailey who often saddles winners at the Orchard Portman track.

The next two races, both hurdles, provided a double for Ditcheat based Paul Nicholls and his stable jockey Harry Cobden who won the second with Matterhorn, the 4-11 favourite, and followed up with Panjari in the third at 11-10 favourite.

The first of the two chases saw Heros trained by the in-form Venetia Williams and ridden by Charlie Deutsch triumph at 5-2.

The Age UK 75th Anniversary Maiden Hurdle was won by Canty Bay trained by Emma Lavelle and ridden by Tom Bellamy at 9-4.

The second chase on the card saw winner Grace Harris trained Justshortofabubble under Ben Jones at 11-2, pull away from David Pipes racing club owned Din Din who was second at 22-1 on the run in.

The final race a Mare’s Handicap Hurdle was won by Isabella Bee, trained by Feral O’Brien under Paddy Brennan at 4-1.

Taunton stage their next meeting on Thursday, November 30, when the first action out on the course is off at 12.50pm.

Punters can save at least £5 per ticket by purchasing their tickets on- line in advance before noon on the day prior to racing by logging onto

A courtesy bus will depart from Platform 5 side of Taunton Railway Station 90 minutes before the first race and return 30 minutes after the start of the last race.