The Galway Races has been launched, as the west of Ireland looks forward to welcoming over 150,000 racing fans, who will come to watch some 800 horses compete for honours in 52 action packed races.
The country’s leading owners, trainers and jockeys will converge on the west in an attempt to take home a slice of record level prize-money which has been boosted by a further €83,000, to €1,884,000.
Colm Quinn BMW Athlone and Galway has been announced as the new title sponsor on Tuesday evening.
Tote Ireland continue to sponsor the Wednesday card, andthetote.com Galway Plate holds another whopping prize fund of €220,000. As always, the highlight of the week for many is Thursday’s Guinness Galway Hurdle. The feature is of course the richest National Hunt race ever to be run in Ireland, worth an astonishing €300,000.
Thetote.com Galway Plate and the Guinness Galway Hurdle will undoubtedly be the most hotly-contested handicaps of the summer racing season, attracting the top National Hunt horses in Ireland and the UK.
Meanwhile, the feature races on the other festival days are worth a minimum of €80,000, while there has also been an increased focus on the supporting races each day, with the minimum value of any race during the week now a substantial €15,000.
The continued progression of the country’s most famous racing festival is obvious, as the minimum value of a race in Galway in 2014 was €10,000.
The action off the track on Thursday July 28th is guaranteed to garner as much attention as the racing, with the award winning five star g Hotel & Spa, announced as sponsor of this year’s highly anticipated Best Dressed Lady Competition.
This amazing fashion showcase remarkably manages to get bigger and bigger by the year and the g Hotel & Spa will sponsor both the Best Dressed Lady, with a prize worth €10,000, and the Best Hat competition with a prize to the value of €2,000.
Both Saturday and Sunday will feature family entertainment with Sunday also hosting the Mad Hatters Competition. The competition to find the most creative, head turning hat is always hugely popular, with the huge effort of entrants being rewarded by Ireland West Airport Knock.
Galway Race Committee Chairman, Peter Allen said the committee was thrilled with the support of returning sponsors, and also very glad to welcome some new names on-board.
“Once again, we look forward to welcoming over 150,000 racing fans to Ballybrit for what will hopefully be our best festival yet. The success of the Galway Races would certainly not be possible without the hard work and support of so many, and for that we are immensely grateful.”
The Galway Races Summer Festival Meeting takes place from Monday July 25th to Sunday July 31st 2016; for more information or to book tickets, visit galwayraces.com.