For many, the undoubted highlight of the busy summer racing schedule is the week-long Galway Festival which traditionally runs into the August Bank holiday weekend. The seven day meeting attracts the biggest crowds of the year and Thursdays Ladies Day is the best attended race day anywhere in Ireland.
The famous Galway Plate dates back to in 1869 and is the feature race on the Wednesday while the Galway Hurdle is the big one the following afternoon. National Hunt (jump) racing and Flat racing go hand-in-hand at Galway. The racecourse also stages a three-day meeting in September and two-day affair over the October Bank Holiday weekend. Galway Racecourse is situated 6kms from the city centre and not far from the M4 motorway.
Galway is a right-handed track with a circuit of just over a mile and a quarter. There is a steep incline to the finish, but unless the ground is particularly testing the track is essentially sharp in character, favouring the handy type of horse.