Galway Races are almost upon us - rain, Gigginstown glory and bumper crowds are all but certain 5 years ago

Galway Races are almost upon us - rain, Gigginstown glory and bumper crowds are all but certain

Farmers' tans, 99s, trips to Croker, strawberries on the side of the road and the Galway Races... somethings just scream "Irish summer".

That almost all of these are in the constant shadow of the threat of rain goes without saying - so much so that you can get odds on the risk of rain at next week's horse racing extravaganza at Ballybrit.


It is 6/4 Rain to rain every day of the Galway Festival (Monday to Sunday) with Ladbrokes, who clearly have very little faith Jean Byrne and the rest of the Met Éireann gang are going to deliver any good news next week.

2014 Galway Racing Festival 30/7/2014 Punters shelter from the rain at Ballybrit today Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Whatever the weather, Michael O'Leary is likely to have a smile on his face. The Ryanair boss and Gigginstown Stud owner loves Galway and is likely to go full bore for the festival highlights, with trainer Noel Meade hopeful 2014 winner Road to Riches can reclaim the Galway Plate.

Having entered 15 horses for the 2016 feature worth €220,000, O'Leary is evens to take the prize, while he is 6/1 to be the owner of the €300,000 Galway Hurdle.

2014 Punchestown Festival 1/5/2014 Michael O'Leary and Punchestown Racing manager Richie Galway Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The other king of Ballybrit is Dermot Weld and the training great is 12/1 to break his record Galway haul of 17 wins, set in 2011.

Galway Festival Specials 2016


To own the winner of the Galway Plate

Evens Gigginstown House Stud

6/1 JP McManus

To own the winner of the Galway Hurdle

6/1 Gigginstown House Stud


10/1 JP McManus


12/1 Dermot Weld to break his own record of 17 wins (set in 2011) 

2/1 Dermot Weld to train a winner on each day of the festival.


4/1 Gordon Elliot to train the winner of the Galway Hurdle

5/2 Gordon Elliot to train the winner of the Galway Plate

2016 Galway Races Total attendance

6/5 Less than 140,000


4/6 Over 140,000