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Where is Galway Racecourse?
Galway Racecourse, also known as Ballybrit, is 6km north-east of Galway City close to the N6. It is an hour's drive north of Limerick via the N18 and M18.
Galway train station is in the city with raceday shuttle buses operating from nearby Eyre Square.
What is Galway Racecourse Famous For?
While organised racing in Galway started in the 13th century, the first official Galway Races were held in 1869 over two days. This was extended to three days in 1961 and is now the seven-day Summer Festival comprising more than 50 races. Six more fixtures make a total of 13 from August to October.
Trainer Dermot Weld is 'The King of Ballybrit' having saddled countless winners in both codes including a record 17 at the 2011 Summer Festival.
Track Specifics at Galway Racecourse
Galway is a right-handed sharp wedge-shaped circuit of 10 furlongs (2000m). Bar a short steeply uphill one-furlong (200m) home straight, horses are on the turn almost all the way resulting in course specialist horses and jockeys.
The chase course runs outside the flat and hurdles track with the last two fences in quick succession before a run-in of over two furlongs (400m).
Biggest Meetings at Galway Racecourse
The famous Summer Festival, or Galway Race Week, starts on the last Monday of July. The highlight is the Galway Plate Handicap Chase on the Tuesday.
Thursday is Ladies Day featuring the Galway Hurdle Handicap and a listed fillies' contest on the flat.
While the quality of racing is not the highest, Galway often witnesses huge gambles. Paul Nolan's Cloone River was heavily backed into favouritism for the Galway Hurdle in 2004. Despite being hampered by a faller, John Cullen's mount took victory prompting wild celebrations inside and outside the parade ring.
Visit the official Galway Racecourse website for more information including upcoming race days, on-course features and more!