Galway races summer festival & ladies day launch

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Updated: July 6, 2011

Ireland’s leading bookmaker Ladbrokes, who operate the two busy betting offices on-site at Ballybrit have joined the list of signature sponsors for the hugely successful Summer Festival meeting in Galway later this month by underwriting six of the seven races on the Saturday card.

This penultimate afternoon of the week-long festival, running from Monday, July 25th to Sunday, July 31st, is being designated as “Ladbrokes Red Day” and features the €70,000 Ladbrokes “Biggest Names Best Prices” Handicap and the €40,000 Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle.

Their welcome input to the country’s most successful gathering on the annual festival circuit ensures that all 52 races scheduled by Galway Race Committee for the Ballybrit course are being sponsored, resulting in an enviable overall prize fund of €1.6 million.

Joe Lewins, Managing Director of Ladbrokes Ireland said: “We’re very much looking forward to this year’s festival and are delighted to be building our association with what has become one of the main highlights of the Summer. We are committed to supporting Irish racing and we have a number of plans underway that we feel will contribute to making the week even more spectacular.”

The Committee chairman Mr. Tim Naughton welcomed Ladbrokes’ involvement as the new headline backers for the Saturday programme during this afternoon’s press launch of the 2011 fixture in addition to thanking existing sponsors for their continued support.

Guinness who are undertaking the Thursday afternoon and Friday evening sessions again are responsible for the richest National Hunt race being run in Ireland this year- Thursday’s  €260,000 Guinness Galway Handicap Hurdle won last year by English raider Overturn. Overturn has already been entered this year to defend his title.

The preceding afternoon’s card fully sponsored by Tote Ireland features the hugely popular €200,000 thetote.com Galway Plate, traditionally an equally competitive jumping event in which Britain’s perennial champion Tony McCoy triumphed aboard Finger Onthe Pulse last summer.
At present five UK trainers have made entries for this race including last year’s Latin Quarter Steeplechase winner Invisible Man.

Details of the ever increasingly popular Ladies Day on Thursday July 28th of the festival were also released today. Anthony Ryan Ltd has continued its commitment to Ladies Day and will once again sponsor the highly coveted Best Dressed Lady Prize and Best Hat Prize, with the Best Dressed Lady set to scoop a prize worth over €12,000.

This year’s Best Dressed Lady will walk away with a Diamond Solitaire Pendant valued at €8,500, a shopping spree worth €1,500 in Anthony Ryans, Galway and €1,000 cash. She will also receive a Lancôme Presentation Gift Hamper worth over €500 and a corporate hospitality package for Galway Races October Bank Holiday Racing Festival to include dinner and champagne reception.

The prize for the winner of the “Best Hat” is a €1500 shopping spree at Anthony Ryan’s Galway. All finalists at the Anthony Ryan’s Best Dressed Marquee will be presented with a special collection of Lancôme cosmetics compliments of University Pharmacy, Galway.

Judging this year’s competition are three of the best known names in the Irish fashion industry – Brendan Courtney, Broadcaster and Off the Rails Presenter, Bairbre Power, Fashion Editor of the Irish Independent and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent Weekend magazine and PJ Gibbons, Editor, Social and Personal Magazine. They will be joined by well known faces from the Galway fashion scene Mandy Maher, Catwalk Model Agency and Patricia McCrossan, Managing Director, Galway NOW.

Ladies Day at the Galway Races Festival looks set to maintain its reputation as the most stylish and glamorous fashion event on the Irish racing calendar.
The pre-eminent meeting kicks off on Monday, July 25th with Galway’s Best Hotels day, the feature race backed by today’s hosts the Carlton Hotel. Sponsoring the remainder of the schedule are other leading hotels Claregalway, Clayton, Galway Bay, the G, Meyrick, Ramada, Radisson Blu and Salthill.

In addition Monday’s fare also features ”Racing with the Sports Stars” with television presenter Daithi O’Sé interviewing big names from the rugby world as well as leading flat and jumps jockeys as the judging of the “Most Appropriately Dressed Lady” competition for one of award-winning Galway milliner Suzie Mahoney’s hats is conducted in the enclosure by her in company with Noel Cunningham from TV3′s Morning AM.

Topaz are Tuesday’s principal sponsors when their three races are headlined by the €115,000 Topaz Galway Mile. Well-known western business Caulfield Industrial host three other events plus the Latin Quarter Steeplechase backed by Galway city’s prime entertainment sector.
Friday’s meeting marks the first officially-designated Sports and Social evening suggested as the perfect venue for a work-based night out to relax and enjoy the racing with friends and colleagues. Contact the racecourse office (091-753870) for details of this package.

“Ladbrokes Red Day” is being introduced as the novel theme of Saturday’s session involving a new competition for Galway based on dressing in red. The firm will present a fantastic prize for the person judged to be sporting an unique red element to his or her outfit.

The Connacht Tribune Handicap Chase is the main race once more on the final afternoon (Sunday, July 31) with Galway Bay FM and Easyfix both sponsoring supporting races.  The J P McManus-owned Martinstown Stud, the Trappers Inn Galway and the Galway Shopping Centre have come on board as new sponsors and the latter are also backing the Mad Hatters competition which also takes place on Family Day Sunday July 31st.

With the provision of motorways from Dublin to Galway and Limerick to Galway, access to Galway races has never been easier!

The Galway Races Summer Festival will run from Monday 25th July to Sunday July 31st.

For more information on the Galway Races Summer Festival and to avail of Special offers and Group Discounts please call 091-753870, email information@galwayraces.com or visit our website www.galwayraces.com . Join us on facebook, facebook.com/galwayraces for all the latest information on this year’s Summer Festival Meeting!

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