Disappointing news came out of Ireland when it was revealed that just 1,000 spectators per day would be allowed to revel in the thrills and spills of the Galway races – as opposed to the 5,000 originally hoped. 

The week-long summer Festival kicks off on Monday 26th July, and while the numbers may be small, last year’s meeting was held behind closed doors, so it will be great to have race owners and fans back. 

If you’re looking to get your Galway 2021 betting fix, read on as we guide you through all you need to know.

A brief history

The Galway races were first established in 1869, with the meeting taking place over two days – and over 150 years later, fans still flock to Ballybrit to revel in the summer festival. It wasn’t until 1959 that the races were extended to a three-day meeting and it quickly grew from there. 1971 saw Galway’s summer festival extended to four-day meeting and then three years later, became a five-day meeting. 1999 saw the Galway Races evolve into the seven-day bonanza we know and love today. 

The 2020 event

As mentioned, last year’s meeting was held behind closed doors – a far cry from the 150,000+ revellers that usually attend – but it was still nevertheless as thrilling. 

The event’s two biggest races are the Galway Hurdle and the Galway Plate – and both were toughly-contested. In the former, the Willie Mullins-trained 7/1 chance Aramon defied the top weight to claim victory – two and a quarter lengths ahead of rank outsider Hearts Are Trumps. It had been a close encounter and it was a shame that punters weren’t watching the event live to revel in the glory of such a great race.

It was a similar story on day three – Ladies’ Day – as the Galway Plate didn’t disappoint. Another from Mullins’ yard, Royal Rendezvous was the favourite, and he had an epic battle with Joseph O’Brien’s Early Doors. And it was the latter who came out on top, fighting of a late surging run from the favourite – to win by three-quarters of a length.

The 2021 edition

The seven-day festival kicks off on Monday 26th July. Below, you can find the race cards for the week.

Monday 26th July – Opening Day: 7 races

  • 4.10pm: Irish EBF Maiden

  • 4.40pm: Handicap

  • 5.15pm: Handicap

  • 5.45pm: Handicap

  • 6.15pm: Handicap

  • 6.45pm: Handicap

  • 7.15pm: Maiden 

Tuesday 27th July – Throwback Tuesday: 7 races

  • 4.35pm: Irish EBF Maiden

  • 5.10pm: Irish EBF Fillies Maiden

  • 5.45pm: Irish EBF Corrib Fillies Stakes

  • 6.15pm: Mile Handicap

  • 6.45pm: Handicap

  • 7.15pm: Handicap

  • 7.45pm: Handicap 

Wednesday 28th July – Galway Plate Day: 8 races

  • 4.35pm: EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle

  • 5.10pm: Novice Hurdle

  • 5.45pm: Maiden Hurdle

  • 6.15pm: Galway Plate

  • 6.45pm: Handicap Hurdle

  • 7.15pm: Handicap Steeplechase

  • 7.45pm: EBF Mares Flat Race

  • 8.15pm: Flat Race

Thursday 29th July – Ladies’ Day: 8 races

  • 4.35pm: Novice Hurdle

  • 5.10pm: Beginners Steeplechase

  • 5.45pm: Novice Steeplechase

  • 6.15pm: Hurdle Handicap

  • 6.45pm: Handicap Hurdle

  • 7.15pm: Novice Hurdle

  • 7.45pm: Handicap Hurdle

  • 8.15pm: Flat Race

Friday 30th July – Friday Night Live: 8 races

  • 4pm: Maiden Hurdle

  • 4.30pm: Handicap Hurdle

  • 5pm: Handicap Hurdle

  • 5.30pm: Handicap Hurdle

  • 6.05pm: Beginners Steeplechase

  • 6.40pm: Steeplechase

  • 7.10pm: Handicap Steeplechase

  • 7.45pm: Flat Race

Saturday 31st July – The Weekender: 8 races

  • 12.50pm: EBF Maiden    

  • 1.22pm: Maiden

  • 1.57pm: Handicap

  • 2.32pm: Handicap         

  • 3.10pm: EBF Auction Series Maiden

  • 3.45pm: EBF Nursery Handicap

  • 4.20pm: Handicap

  • 4.50pm: Handicap

Sunday 1st August – Final day: 7 races

  • 2.15pm: Handicap

  • 2.45pm: Irish EBF Median Auction Maiden

  • 3.15pm: Handicap

  • 3.50pm: EBF “Ahonoora” Handicap

  • 4.20pm: EBF Fillies Maiden

  • 4.50pm: The JPK Fencing Systems Race

  • 5.20pm: Memorial Handicap

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