Tote Ireland step up to the Plate in sponsorship boost for Galway Festival
Tote Ireland were announced yesterday by Galway Race Committee as the new sponsors of their historic Plate, which invariably proves the most popular of the 51 races staged annually during the Summer Festival.
The Tote, which previously backed the Tuesday evening session, have signed a three-year deal for the traditional Wednesday highlight of the week that will have a later starting time this season.
The €200,000 www.thetote.com Plate will be decided around 5.0 on July 28 with the card comprising seven other races -- likewise funded by Tote Ireland -- starting at 3.0.
This subsidiary of Horse Racing Ireland is particularly keen to promote their online Irish and British pool betting website, with chairman Jim Nicholson declaring the Plate sponsorship "an irresistible opportunity for our board and a great vote of confidence in trying times".
"The Galway races are responsible for a large slice of our turnover annually and the record Tote aggregate for a single day's racing of close on €2.1m was established there on the Thursday in 2007."
That year, with the recession yet to have bitten, the Tote's share of the betting on-course reached an unprecedented €8,623,402 and even last year the Plate day Jackpot pool reached €156,382, with two winners each receiving €58,643.
Indeed, a year ago, each of the 51 races was sponsored and, despite the negative impact of the recession in this area, Galway manager John Moloney is more than hopeful they can emulate that feat once more.
"Although the Tote have moved from the Tuesday, we will be speaking to some of our loyal existing sponsors from the September and October meetings to see if they would like to come on board during the summer and we also have had initial approaches from potential new companies," he explained.
The general admission prices are being held at 2007 levels again this year and there will be a new seven-day ticket available for €140.