With the countdown already on to the 148th running of the Galway Races Summer Festival, prize money at the western track has been boosted to a new record level to over €2,000,000. With fifty-two races over the seven days at Ballybrit, each day will offer a minimum prize fund of €100,000 for the feature race, with the overall prize fund being increased by €123,000 on last year’s Festival. The Galway Races takes place from Monday 31st July to Sunday 6th August.
Monday’s feature race the Connacht Hotel (Q.R.) Handicap will be worth €100,000, with Tuesday’s highlight the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap valued at €120,000.
The hotly contested thetote.com Galway Plate on Wednesday, a race synonymous with Galway and key to the history of the Festival, has received a significant increase of €30,000 with the prize fund for 2017 now standing at €250,000.
With a strong association at the Festival for many years, Guinness will once again be title sponsors on Thursday and Friday with the Guinness Galway Hurdle, worth an impressive €300,000, a race that draws huge attention on the day traditionally referred to as Ladies’ Day. Friday features the Guinness Handicap valued at €100,000.
The weekend highlights, Saturday’s Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle and Sunday’s Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ahonoora” Handicap, will each be worth €100,000 this year.
In welcoming the additional prize money for the summer festival, Michael Moloney, General Manager of Galway Racecourse, said “it’s a huge credit to our sponsors and Horse Racing Ireland who with their support have enabled us to offer for the very first time a feature race every day valued at a minimum of €100,000. It is also particularly pleasing to see the minimum race value of every race during the Festival set at €15,000. We have an exciting programme on the cards for 2017 and we look forward to offering some great racing and entertainment here in Galway during the Festival.”
Further information on the Galway Races can be found on www.galwayraces.com.