The Summer Festival at Galway’s Ballybrit Racecourse, often known as the Galway Races or the Galway Festival (not to be confused with the Galway International Arts Festival, which takes place immediately beforehand for two weeks), is a seven-day meeting featuring both flat and jumps races.
This is the definitive Galway Races betting guide. The Summer Festival at Galway’s Ballybrit Racecourse, often known as the Galway Races or the Galway Festival (not to be confused with the Galway International Arts Festival, which takes place immediately beforehand for two weeks), is a seven-day meeting featuring both flat and jumps races. Every year, it begins on the last Monday of July, and the best horse racing betting sites will offer a wide variety of wagering options throughout the week.
Notwithstanding the fact that only the Galway Plate and the Galway Hurdle have any relevance outside of the festival, the Galway Festival is a fantastic social event enjoyed by thousands and the location of some enormous horse racing wagers.
Trainer Dermot Weld may have won some of the world’s most prestigious races, including the Derby and the Melbourne Cup, but to many, he is synonymous with the Galway Festival, having been the champion trainer 30 times between 1998 and 2015.
This year honors the 150th anniversary of the first Galway Races, which were conducted in 1869 and featured eight events over two days. It has steadily expanded over the years to become the vast monster that it is today. And while it may lack the celebrity appeal of a Cheltenham or Punchestown Festival, it offers competitive competition with many connections intent on a Galway victor.
Galway Races Wagering Exchanges
With 52 races to wager on, the Galway Festival provides enough options for horse racing wagering. There are no Group races on the flat or Grade 1 events over obstacles, but there are plenty of tough handicaps in both disciplines and several intriguing maidens to consider in your horse racing betting plan.
There are a few easy things that can aid when tackling the racecards in Ballybrit, and while they may seem apparent in parts, keeping a few elements in mind is certainly useful for surviving seven hectic days in the west of Ireland financially.
Course experience is more valuable than gold: Galway is a very specialized course due to its peculiar undulations, so if your horse has performed well here in the past, it is a tremendous advantage.
Given that Galway is such a narrow track, you do not want to ride a horse who has been drawn wide. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, it is quite tough to get over from a wide draw on the Ballybrit racecourse due to its steep turns and narrow layout.
Don’t blindly follow Weld: While this strategy might have yielded numerous winners several years ago, Dermot has acknowledged that he no longer targets horses at this event in the same way he formerly did. Humans are naturally loyal, therefore many continue to back his horses at Galway, resulting in attractive betting markets for those who take them on.
In 2015, Dermot Weld was the top trainer at the Galway Festival for the 29th time in 30 years. But, he lost his title to Willie Mullins, who is a veritable juggernaut, and many doubt he will regain it any time soon.
Examine the top online horse racing sites that provide Galway Races markets:
Galway Races Pre-Race Wagering
Just the Galway Plate and the Galway Hurdle are priced a week before the Galway Festival, with ante-post wagering on the festival being extremely limited.
There will be four places available for each-way wagering in the Galway Plate, although some bookmakers may provide more places on the day of the race. The maximum field size for the Galway Hurdle is 20, thus there will once again be four places available for each-way ante-post wagers.
The 2004 Galway Hurdle winner Cloone River was offered at odds of 16/1 ante-post before being sent out as the 7/2 favorite.
Below is a list of antepost betting websites that provide Galway Races markets:
Galway Racing Calendar
Monday, July 27th – Rally Your Tribe
Seven races commence at 5:20 p.m., with the last beginning at 8:40 p.m.
The highlighted race is the Connacht Hotel (Q.R.) Handicap over 2m1f (3400m).
Tuesday, July 28 is Sports and Social Day.
Seven races commence at 5:20 p.m., with the last beginning at 8:40 p.m.
In addition to the BMW Mile Handicap, there is also the BMW Novice Hurdle.
Wednesday, July 29 is Galway Plate Day, which features seven races beginning at 5:10 p.m. and concluding at 8:20 p.m.
The principal event is the TheTote.com Galway Plate Handicap Chase (Grade A).
Thursday, July 30 is Ladies’ Day.
Eight races begin at 2:00 p.m., with the last race beginning at 6:00 p.m.
In addition to the listed Arthur Guinness Irish EBF Corrib Fillies Stakes and the Grade 3 Open Gate Brewery Novice Chase, the main event is the Grade A Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap.
Friday, July 31st – Friday’s Trendiest Day
Seven races commence at 5:10 p.m., with the last beginning at 8:25 p.m.
The highlight is the 1.5-mile Guinness Handicap (Premier Handicap) (2400m).
Saturday, August 1st, is Social Saturday.
Eight races begin at 2:00 p.m., and the last race begins at 5:55 p.m.
Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle is the highlight (Grade B).
Sunday, August 2
Eight races begin at 2.15 p.m., with the last race beginning at 6 p.m.
The highlighted event is the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ahonoora” Handicap (Premier Handicap).
Galway Races Highlights
The Galway Plate (€250,000) is worth €250,000.
This will be the 150th running of the festival’s most prestigious race, which debuted in 1869. Clarcam, trained by Gordon Elliott, won last year for the fourth time in five years for the renowned Gigginstown House Stud colors.
The two-mile, six-and-a-half-furlong (4500m) race features a remarkable finale, with the final two fences separated by only a few steps before a massive two-furlong sprint to the finish line. Naturally, the large stables and owners have dominated in recent years, with JP McManus and Willie Mullins’ green and gold contingent deserving a great deal of respect.
For some, the Galway Plate represents a stepping stone to greater accomplishments. McManus’s most recent winner was 2013’s Carlingford Lough, who went on to win two Grade 1 races, while 2014’s Road To Riches won the Lexus Chase and placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase.
Ansar, a 2001 Galway Hurdle winner trained by Dermot Weld at Ballybrit, was the last horse to win consecutive renewals in 2004 and 2005. Prior to it, Aidan O’Brien accomplished the feat in 1995 and 1996 with Life Of A Lord.
Galway Hurdle (€300,000)
This handicap hurdle, like the Plate, is a true riddle, with the majority of winners hailing from tiny yards. But, last year’s victory in Sharjah gave Willie Mullins his second win in three years.
The victors of this two-mile (3200-meter) race are typically slightly below elite, with 2010’s victory going to Donald McCain’s courageous dual-purpose leader Overturn. Michael Winters won the 2012 and 2013 races with Rebel Fitz and Missunited, respectively, before Tony Martin rode Thomas Edison and Fast Jack to victory in the 2014 and 2015 races, respectively.
When placing a wager on any Galway race, it is crucial to monitor the purse. In the days preceding up to the big races, there will be plenty of rumors, and the horses will have been specifically trained to win the large payout.