The Galway Races remains a staple of summer sporting action in Ireland as the week-long extravaganza at the Ballybrit course continues to attract major crowds.
Galway is the racing capital of Ireland's western seaboard, with their midsummer meeting amongst the most popular social racing events in the calendar.
There's also plenty of quality racing to enjoy at the course, which mixes Flat and National Hunt racing throughout the year.
Here's our guide to Galway racecourse.
|The Galway Races
|Galway Racecourse, Ballybrit, Galway
|Monday 31st July – Sunday 6th August, 2023
|How to watch
|bet365 Sports Live Streaming, RTE & Racing TV
Racing at Galway takes place predominantly in the second half of the year but there is no doubting that their week-long summer festival is the standout in the calendar.
Taking place in late July-early August, the festival runs from Monday-Sunday and goes simply under the moniker of The Galway Races.
The meeting is famed as a social one like no other. It doesn't boast the top level action of a Dublin Racing Festival or Irish Champions Weekend, but Galway offers fiercely competitive racing with excellent prizemoney on offer.
The Galway Plate and the Galway Hurdle are the two main events on the seven-day programme, which mixes action on the Flat and over jumps, often on the same card.
On the Flat, Galway is a right-handed track with a circuit of just over a mile-and-a-quarter. There is a steep incline to the finish, but unless the ground is particularly testing the track is essentially sharp in character. The finishing straight is relatively short at just over a furlong in length.
The right-handed jumps loop is just over 10 furlongs in length. The chase course has seven fences to a circuit, with the final two fences very close together followed by a run-in of well over two furlongs. The hurdle course is laid out inside the chase course and is sharp in its nature.
In many instances, both on the Flat and over jumps, races at Galway attract big numbers and that, allied to the turning nature of the track leading to fields racing quite tightly-knit, means a degree of good fortune is often required in running.
The Galway Festival in July/August has grown into one of the most celebrated racing festivals anywhere in the world. Over 140,000 people come through the turnstiles over the course of a week at Ballybrit, around 6km north-east of Galway city, one of the most popular tourist hotspots in the country.
The track has two stands, the Main Stand and Millennium Stand. There is no official dress code at Irish racecourses, but smart casual is usually a safe bet. At the Galway Races on Thursday and Friday there is the opportunity to raise the style stakes with high-value prizes on offer in the best dressed competitions run by the racecourse.
There are plenty of delicious on-the-go and casual food options available to racegoers throughout the racecourse, in addition to exquisite hospitality packages where you get to enjoy the ultimate raceday experience.
Further options include the Killanin Stand Suites or the Millennium Stand Panoramic Restaurant with stunning views of the racetrack. Great value packages are available, including buffet packages on the evening meetings.
The Parade Ring Lounge offers racegoers an elevated racing experience in a great location beside the parade ring, in which they can enjoy the electric and fun atmosphere that the Galway Races is famous for.