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Tote boost for Galway

A lot of water has to fall and pass under the bridge before we begin to think about the glorious Galway Festival, but the executives at Ballybrit were delighted to announce a new sponsor for their blue riband event, the Galway Plate.

Tote Ireland will take over the reins from bookmakers William Hill as the €200,000 summer highlight becomes the www.thetote.com Galway Plate after the announcement of the three-year deal yesterday.

It is another boost for the industry in what is widely recognised as an economically tough time, and Tim Naughton, the chairman of the Galway Race Committee, was naturally delighted with the backing of the Tote, who had previously been long supporters of races at the Galway Festival.

"The Galway Race Committee are delighted that the Tote has agreed to sponsor Galway Plate Day at the Summer Festival Meeting for the next three years.

"The Tote has been sponsoring in Galway for the past number of years and their decision to sponsor the world-famous Galway Plate is very welcome news," Naughton said.