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14:50 Taunton The theme to this race seems to be “decent hurdlers that have lost their way.” With the likes of Go Long and Bertimont lining up if they can recapture former glories they’re bound to be in with a chance and I’m hoping the one that can is the lightly raced Go Long. Evan Williams has his yard firing this year and his charge has finished first and second in just two hurdle starts. It’s slightly disheartening that the horse has had such a lengthy lay-off but Williams can get one ready first time back. A return to the two mile trip should help and the addition of blinkers could also being further improvement. The favourite Hint Of Mint represents a top yard and looks worthy of his spot at the head of the market. He relishes Taunton with three victories here previously including a course and distance success. He only just managed to claim victory last time though and in a better race with a two pound rise in weight I’m happy to go against it. The horse I fear the most is Daklondike who shaped well when winning last time out. A low weight is definitely advantageous and should be there or thereabouts. My fear however is that the Pipe yard is far removed from what it once was. When you saw the surname Pipe in the trainers column you knew you’d have a serious threat in the race but alas David hasn’t been able to emulate his father and although Daklondike is likely to go well I couldn’t have too much certainty. GO LONG (E/W)

16:50 Taunton Tim Vaughan has a trio of runners entered in the final race on the card at Taunton and I’m siding with one that returns to the hurdles sphere after doing little in six starts as a chaser. His last hurdles contest saw him finish fourth of eight off a twelve pound higher mark than today. He returns to class 5 company which is the level he last claimed victory and with a promising apprentice taking further weight off his back Bennachie looks a lovely outsider. Scales looks the biggest danger having a 100% strike rate here at Taunton with a victory that came under today’s jockey. Definitely the one to beat when looking at the stats but the race looks that open an each way punt is the only way to go. BENNACHIE (E/W) – NAP

by Rory Paddock


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