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Friday 15th July 2022
   
Everything You Need to Know About the Galway Races

While UK jumps racing is on its summer sabbatical, over in Ireland, the action is as hot as ever.

The Galway Races are back for 2022, and this year will feature seven days of high-class competition over obstacles as some of the finest Irish horses, jockeys and trainers vie for their share of the £1.77 million prize fund on offer.

More than 130,000 punters will flock to the circuit on the west coast of Ireland, and there will be ample opportunity for those unable to get to the track to watch on TV or via their bookmaker’s app for those who like to bet on horse racing – on which note, there will be more than 30 individual races to have a flutter on.

Leading the way in the Galway betting will be the two key races – the Plate and the Hurdle – which both tend to attract a stellar field. Indeed, some of the previous winners of those renewals have gone on to achieve great things at Punchestown, Leopardstown and in UK National Hunt racing, so punters are well advised to have their notebooks handy to jot down any of the runners that catch their eye.

First established way back in the 1800s as a two-day extravaganza, the popularity of the Galway Festival is such that it has been extended to a full week since, and as one of the only top-tier meetings to take place in the summer months, it’s little wonder that many of the leading racehorse owners around the world use it as a chance to try and win some prize money during what is, traditionally, the off-season.

Will Irish eyes be smiling at Galway in 2022, or will an overseas raider or two spoil the home party?

A Tasty Dish

The races rattle past at the busy Galway Races, but a sense of anticipation will build on Wednesday, July 27, ahead of one of the meeting’s premier renewals – the Galway Plate.

The £250,000 prize money on offer to the winner is enough to focus the mind of connections from around the globe ahead of this near three-mile handicap steeplechase, which is open to horses aged four or over.
The likes of Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott, Henry de Bromhead and Joseph O’Brien have all prevailed in the Galway Plate in recent memory, and some notable horses have also taken the finishing line in first place too.

The reigning champion is Royal Rendezvous, the Mullins-trained ten-year-old who just edged out the 28/1 outsider Easy Game by a single length 12 months ago. It was an edition that also featured the likes of Battleoverdoyen, Brahma Bull and Samcro, which is proof of the allure of the Galway Plate and the festival in general.

Royal Rendezvous is also a Grade 2 Champion Chase winner at Gowran Park, where he finished runner-up to Fakir D’Oudairies in the Clonmel Oil Chase as well – O’Brien’s horse is, of course, a former Melling Chase victor and Ryanair Chase silver medallist.

Other names on the rollcall of winners in the Galway Plate include Balko Des Flos (a former Grand National runner-up), Carlingford Lough (Irish Gold Cup champion) and Road to Riches (third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup), so this is a renewal that horse racing fans all over the world should be paying plenty of heed to.

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