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Chez Hans
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It might be a fruitful day for Paul Nicholls and the Owners’ Group at Taunton starting with this 5yo who has put up two excellent runs in second over shorter here. The first of those came with today’s jockey Angus Cheleda on board, when chasing home a Colin Tizzard improver, before keeping on well at the finish under Harry Cobden next time. The way he’s finished off both races suggests a try up in trip is worthwhile, and with Cheleda back on board, he’s effectively 4lb lower in the weights than last time. He’s a full brother to a 2m4f winner so breeding suggests there’s more to come here.

Flanagans Field
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To say there’s not a lot that jumps out here would be an understatement. The handicap debutants of An Tailliur, Troed Y Parc and the smart-on-the-flat Grandee may well improve, but we’re siding Bernard Llewyllan’s solid, if unspectacular veteran. The 13yo failed to land a blow when a distance third at Chepstow last time, but he continues to fall down the weights and races in a contest where Lewis Stones can actually claim his 7lb allowance. His mark of 73 is 5lbs below the rating he scored from just over a year ago, and while he hasn’t got close to winning again, he’s not been running badly. If none of the handicap newbies are well treated, he’s well capable of taking this modest event.

Calva D’Auge
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Lady Kk must be respected here having scored so easily in a mares’ event last time out. If maintaining that level of performance under a 7lb penalty she’ll take some stopping here. However, on decent ground Calva D’Auge is a decent horse, showing enough battling qualities at Newbury two starts back to suggest that this step up in trip isn’t beyond him. He had subsequent River Don winner The Cob behind him when scoring in Berkshire that day, to add his fifth career win. He’s only up 4lb for that win and with the boost it’s been given since it looks within his grasp.

Fleck Ivy
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Chasing seems to have been the making of Richard bandey’s gelding with his two efforts over fences surpassing anything he did in a short spell over the smaller obstacles. Tackling better ground at Plumpton last time out he improved further from his chasing debut, putting in a great round of jumping under Harrison Beswick. He’s up 6lb for that and now has 12-7 on his back for this, but he’s shown he can jump and carry top-weight to success, and on just his third start in this sphere probably has the improvement in him to score again.

About Taunton Racecourse

Although racing has taken place at Taunton for over 90 years, it is in fact the youngest National Hunt venue in the UK. Penzance, 2005 Triumph Hurdle winner, and former Champion Chaser Well Chief are just two of the subsequent Cheltenham Festival winners to have made their racecourse debut at the Somerset track.

The sharp right-handed course hosts a number of jumps meeting throughout the summer, with it’s fences, especially the third-last, renowned for catching horses out.

Orchard PortmanSomersetUnited Kingdom
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