Wednesday 29 March 2017

Prize pot races to €2m at Ballybrit this year

Gayle Kelly, Kelly McGrath, Tirna Slevin and Katie Geoghegan at the launch of the Galway Races. Photo: Andrew Downes
Gayle Kelly, Kelly McGrath, Tirna Slevin and Katie Geoghegan at the launch of the Galway Races. Photo: Andrew Downes

Caroline Crawford and Bairbre Power

A bumper pot of almost €2m is set to be given away at the Galway Races this year after an increase in prizes for every single race.

The seven days of racing is due to host more than 150,000 fans - all hoping to strike it rich on one of the 800 horses competing in 52 action-packed races over the week.

Launching the festival last night, organisers said the sizeable pots on offer for winning owners and trainers had been boosted by a further €83,000 - rising to €1,884,000.

The launch party at the g Hotel was attended by jockey Pat Smullen, fresh from his win at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby in the Curragh on Saturday, accompanied by his wife, horse trainer Frances Crowley.

The highlight of race week for many is Thursday's Guinness Galway Hurdle, but for the glamour squad it's all about Ladies Day and the Best Dressed Lady Competition, sponsored this year by the g Hotel & Spa.

The Best Dressed Lady competition offers a prize of €10,000, while the Best Hat competition boasts a prize of €2,000. The judging panel on the day includes Today FM DJ Louise Duffy, Irish Independent 'Weekend' magazine fashion editor Bairbre Power, Image Publications editor-in-chief Melanie Morris and Triona Barrett, general manager of the g Hotel & Spa.

This year's festival will run from July 25 to July 31. For more information, visit galwayraces.com.

Irish Independent

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