Organisers are expecting up to 20,000 people to take in the sporting action this evening and there is plenty to keep them occupied as the main event, the Topaz Mile Handicap boasting prize money of €115,000, gets underway.
As well as soaking up the atmosphere at the suburban venue and making the most of a bright, sunny afternoon, horse racing enthusiasts have been remembering RTE pundit Colm Murray, on the anniversary of his death.
A special tribute to the late broadcaster was included in today’s race card, noting the commentator’s contribution to the sport.
Murray passed away at 61, three years after being diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.
“The large attendance stood in silence when the announcement was made; that showed the enormous respect that the racing family had for Colm, who was such a popular figure at Ballybrit and throughout Ireland.
“The Galway Race Committee would like to remember a wonderful friend today and recognise the huge role Colm played in bringing the sport of Kings to a huge audience,” the message reads.
There will be no moment of silence, but Murray will be honoured at a mass service, to be held at the track on Sunday for patrons.
“We have had the mass every year since 2000, it will be celebrated by our local parish priest and we’ll remember Colm fondly,” Ballybrit racecourse manager John Moloney told Independent.ie.
Mr Moloney said that Murray’s presence is “still very much felt” at the grounds and that he will be looking down on the proceedings this week.
“A lot of people are mentioning Colm this week,” added Murray’s close friend Jonathan Mullin added.
“He was synonymous with Irish horse racing and he loved racing. He’s greatly missed and it’s hard to believe he’s gone a year.”