Under starters’ orders for the Summer races


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Under starters’ orders for the Summer races Under starters’ orders for the Summer races

This year’s Galway Summer Racing Festival was launched in the city on Tuesday, where details of this year’s event were unveiled, including three new race sponsors, who have each signed two-year deals.

Whiriskey Refrigeration will sponsor the fifth race on Saturday August 3, ‘The Whiriskey Refrigeration Irish European Breeders Fund Nursery Handicap Race’; and The Salthill Hotel will sponsor the eighth race on the same card, The Salthill Hotel Irish European Breeders Fund Mares Flat Race’.

The Village Salthill, an umbrella group for businesses in Salthill, is the third new face on board, and will sponsor the seventh race, The Village Salthill Handicap’, on the popular ‘Mad Hatters Day’ on Sunday August 4.

This year’s festival will run from Monday July 29 to Sunday August 4 and will feature 53 races across the seven days, with more than 800 horses due on site over the week-long festival.

The festival has a total prize fund of over €2.159 million on offer. Each day offers a minimum prize fund of €110,000 for the feature race, with a minimum value for any race at Galway standing at €17,000.

In addition to the racing, there will be more than 50 live music performances and entertainers booked for over the seven days of the festival, including the highlight on Galway Plate Day, Mike Denver for the Country Music Day.

Other acts booked include Spring Break, Pyramid, Bongo Steve, Sean Slattery & The Connections, The Galway Tenors, The Gamblers, Lackagh Comhaltas, and The Conquerors; while, the Melbourne Cup will be at the racetrack on Saturday August 3 as part of a promotional tour.

Ladies Day will be held on Thursday, when the ‘Best Dressed Lady’ and ‘Best Hat’ competitions will be held; while Friday will see the Most Stylish competition.

Galway Racecourse will host a fundraising event on the Saturday night in The Galmont Hotel & Spa, all in-aid of Galway jockey, Graham Lee, who had a life-changing accident earlier this year. Tickets for the black-tie event cost €200 and are available via

Businesses across Galway City and County are also being invited to take part in their ‘Shop Window Competition’. Businesses, no matter what size, could be in with a chance of winning an prize of a VIP Day at the races for their team worth €3,000, plus complimentary tickets for the races for each entry received.

“We are once again delighted to present the iconic Galway Racing Festival. We eagerly anticipate huge attendances from our loyal fan base, from families and groups of friends and from many first-time race goers,” said Anthony Ryan, chairman of the Galway Race Committee.

“The festival offers top class horse racing, superb prize money, delicious hospitality options, lots of live entertainment and fashion to take your breath away. With the support of our sponsors and partners, we anticipate this year’s festival to be the best yet,” he said.

To book a ticket to this year’s Galway Races check out

Pictured at Mary Mullens Bar on Tuesday at the launch of this year’s  Galway Races Summer Festival were Michael Maloney, CEO Galway Races (second from right) with Harry Connelly, Alan Power and Craig Derham of Guinness. Photos: Andrew Downes, xposure.

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