Galway Festival to stay as seven-day meeting this year

Changes made to race programme, with first two days to be Flat only.

Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Horse Racing Ireland has announced the Galway Festival will remain a seven-day meeting on its original dates this year.

However, there will be significant changes to the traditional race programme, with the opening two days to host Flat races only, while the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday cards will be all National Hunt.

Scheduled to begin on July 27, the meeting will conclude with two all-Flat cards. The Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle will be run on the Wednesday and Thursday as normal.

Irish racing is set to return behind closed with strict new protocols in place at Naas on June 8. The revised fixture list for July features 47 meetings, three more than in the original schedule. In recognition of the increased workload, there will now be three days (up from two) on which no racing takes place during the month.

HRI's director of racing Jason Morris said: "We recognise that there will be a large demand for opportunities to run and our aim is to provide all Flat horses with their first run as quickly as possible following the resumption of racing by offering a balanced programme across all age groups, distances and categories. There will be 53 Flat meetings up to the end of July with this objective in mind.

"There will also be 22 National Hunt fixtures programmed between June 22 and the end of July, compared to the equivalent of 17 meetings in the same period last year, to cater for the demands of the jumps horse population.

"There will be eight-race cards run at every opportunity where stable capacity allows, with the protocols requiring one stable per horse for hygiene reasons."


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