The sizeable pots on offer for winning owners and trainers at the Galway Festival has increased yet again, with prize money over the week long summer racing bonanza being boosted by a further €83,000, to an eye-watering €1,884,000.
Guinness maintain its long running association with the Galway Hurdle, which is of course the richest National Hunt race ever to be run in Ireland, worth an astonishing €300,000.
Meanwhile, Tote Ireland continue to sponsor the Wednesday card, and thetote.com Galway Plate holds another whopping prize fund of €220,000.
As always, these two races will be the most hotly contested handicaps of the summer racing season, undoubtedly attracting many of the top chasers and hurdlers in Ireland and the UK.
The feature races on the other festival days are now worth a minimum of €80,000, while there is a new sponsor for the Tuesday card; Colm Quinn BMW Athlone and Galway. The Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap on Tuesday evening is one of the country’s most valuable flat handicaps, with a prize fund of €120,000.
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. This figure has been boosted from €12,000 in 2015, therefore showing an increase of 25 per cent. The continued progression of the country’s most successful racing festival is obvious, as the minimum value of a race in Galway in 2014 was €10,000.
General Manager of Galway Racecourse Michael Moloney is delighted with the increases in prize money for 2016. “One of the successes of Galway’s race programme is that it aims to provide as many opportunities as possible for the horse population which provides a chance for many owners and trainers to have a runner at the festival, therefore it is particularly satisfying to see the minimum race value set at €15,000 this year, an increase of 50 per cent from 2014. We are also delighted to be in a position to run the richest national hunt race in the Guinness Galway Hurdle which will be valued at €300,000 again this year. It is a tribute to all our sponsors and to Horse Racing Ireland to be in a position to offer this level of prize money and we look forward to offering some great racing during the festival.”
Director of Racing of Horse Racing Ireland Jason Morris said that HRI is pleased to be supporting the Galway Festival with an increased prize money contribution to match the additional race sponsorship that the racecourse has been able to attract.
“It is very satisfying that the minimum value for all races at the Festival will rise by 25% from €12,000 in 2015 to €15,000 this year, as it is only appropriate that winners at Galway are adequately rewarded at all levels given the extremely competitive nature of the racing.”
The Galway Races, or indeed the week that is the highlight of many peoples summer, will begin on Monday July 25th and continue through to Sunday July 31st. For more information, or to book tickets, visit galwayraces.com.