President Higgins and Martin O'Neill among the visitors on Day Three of the Galway Races
Day Three of the Galway Races is underway and Ballybrit has been visited by dignitaries and soccer legends.
Tens of thousands of people have turned out for the Wednesday meeting at the suburban venue and leading the way are special guests, President Michael D Higgins and Ireland football manager Martin O’Neill.
Leaving his wife Sabina at home, the president arrived early to enjoy a three-course lunch with the race committee before taking to the parade ring.
“It’s going to be a lovely day, the numbers are predicted to be very high and I’m delighted for the race committee - particularly because they have continued over the years to keep ploughing back more and more into the provision of facilities,” he said.
Meanwhile, O’Neill is accompanied by his other half Geraldine for the afternoon and is making his Galway debut.
The feature race today is the Galway Plate, worth €200,000.
In addition to the number of bets picking up, the fashionable fillies have upped the ante in the style stakes.
Champion jockey AP McCoy’s wife Chanelle wowed in a citrus orange and pink outfit, while Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has been dressed in a dusty pink and grey frock and matching jacket by Sean Byrne, of the Powerscourt Design Centre.
Paula Geraghty, wife of jockey Barry Geraghty, dazzled in a cream and black ensemble.