Galway Racecourse Guide

Located in Ballybrit just outside Galway city, this track is one of the most quirky in nature in all of Ireland. It is famed for its week long festival meeting in July / August and it is one of the most iconic venues on the sporting calendar in the country.

Racing first took place here in 1869 and, by now, over 200,000 people flock through the gates during the 12 days of racing at the track each year with 140,000 of those coming during the festival. Galway is famed for its spectacular atmosphere and social aspect to the racing with plenty of post racing entertainment and only a short hop to the city by bus or taxi making it the ideal location for party goers.

The ultra competitive nature of the racing at the course mean that the betting markets are some of the most active anywhere in the world and some of the biggest betting coups in Irish racing have taken place in handicaps at the track.


Swap Start/End

Ticket Prices

Ticket prices vary in accordance with the type of meeting as follows:

  • Regular Meeting: Adult €15, OAP / Student €10, Children under the age of 12 are Free
  • Festival Meeting: Adult €30, OAP / Student €20, Children under the age of 12 are Free

The Course

Galway is a mixed card course but also contains individual chase and hurdle courses. It is a sharp, right handed track, 10 furlongs in length with a famously steep incline to the finish yet the sharp turning nature of the course still favours handily ridden horses in both codes.

The chase course features seven fences to a circuit with two of those placed very close together before the turn into the straight and has given some of the most iconic tumbles in the tracks history down the years. These jumps are followed with a testing 2 and 1/2 furlong run in up the hill to the finish. The hurdle course is laid out inside he chase course and is even sharper in nature than its chasing counterpart.

Galway is such a quirky track it tends to produce course specialists who will come back and run well at the festival year on year. It is also known for its damp conditions and bottomless ground and there is not to many days racing goes by at Galway without a drop of rain falling. This only serves to enhance the aura and reputation of the track, however, and it is most definitely a must visit track.

Major Meetings at Galway

As previously stated the 7 day meeting in July / August is one of the most famous meetings in Irish racing from both a racing and social point of view. The highlight of that being the Galway Plate and the Tote Galway Handicap. There is also a three day meeting in September and a two day meeting in October bringing the total tally of race days to 12.

Dining and Hospitality

Playing up to its famed social aspect, Galway is packed full of bars and restaurants that are available to all patrons of the course. These include:

  • Champagne Tent
  • The Carvery Restaurant
  • Racers Fast Food Restaurant
  • The Budweiser Tent
  • The Mayor's Garden area
  • The Guinness Village

This does not include the other many amenities available inside both the Killanin and Millenium stands on the track.