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Where is Taunton Racecourse?
Taunton Racecourse is in the village of Orchard Portman 4km south of Somerset's county town. It is situated on the B3170 close to J25 of the M5.
Taunton rail station is to the north of town with a courtesy bus operating on racedays. The 99 bus also stops near the track, at “Shoreditch Racecourse”, but it is far from a frequent service.
What is Taunton Racecourse Famous For?
West Monkton north of town hosted the first Taunton Races in the 18th century with the current site among a number of venues before meetings ceased in 1855. In 1927, Viscount Portman granted permission for a new racecourse to be built on his estate with the first fixture held that September. It was 81 years before Great Leighs became the next racecourse to be opened in Britain.
In the early 1970s, soil removed in constructing the M5 motorway was used to extend the track. By coincidence, 15-time champion trainer Martin Pipe's first winner – Hit Parade in the Motorway Selling Hurdle – came in May 1975 at Taunton. Taunton hosts around 15 jumps meetings a year from October through to April.
Taunton Racecourse Track Specifics
Taunton is a sharp right-handed one-and-a-quarter mile (2000m) oval. It is largely fair and flat, generally favouring speedier types, but downhill obstacles late on can catch out inexperienced horses.
Biggest Meeting at Taunton Racecourse
Taunton's meeting just after Christmas is its most popular with the track's most prestigious race, a Listed mares' novice hurdle over two miles (3200m) the feature. Ladies Day in early April, on the same day as the start of Aintree's Grand National Festival, is also well-attended.
Visit the official Taunton Racecourse website for more information including upcoming race days, on-course features and more!