2017 Galway Festival Betting Preview – Galway’s A Gamble Landed (31 July-6 Aug)

July 21, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ All,Horse Racing

Galway Festival Betting Preview

Irish horse racing has a very different landscape to its British counterpart. Galway Festival betting has an altogether different vibe to say, Royal Ascot.

The pomp that sees former military types guard entrances to enclosures, paddocks and even front gates ensuring no racegoer is allowed anywhere near the action unless clad in a suit and jacket is one of the most noticeable dissimilarities.  The Irish could not give the proverbial toss!

Likewise, while a gamble is viewed as a crime and the winning trainer quickly exclaims “I’ve no idea where all the money for him came from” in Britain, the Irish head to the bar, buy everyone a drink and publicly count their winnings while being patted on the back.

And with Galway Festival betting, which is as close to a Royal Ascot setting as you will ever find in Ireland, is the traditional stage for one such betting coup.  Here’s three of the better known gambles landed at the famous course in Europe’s most westerly city.


Three of the biggest Galway Festival betting winning gambles:

  • 1999:  With a horse which was rated in the 90’s when trained by Kevin Prendegast, Barney Curley had Magic Combination primed and racing off a handicap mark of 45 when sluicing up in a 1m 4f Galway Festival handicap race.  The official comments read:  Tracked leaders, always travelling easily, progress 4f out, led approaching straight, not extended, eased close home, hard held and his SP was 15/8 after being smashed down from 3/1 in the moments before the off in the 15-runner handicap!

  • 2004:  Cloone River, who finished second in 2003 Galway Hurdle, was kept to the flat by trainer Paul Nolan for a full 12 months prior to lining up in the 2004 renewal.  His hurdle handicap mark was intact and revenge was sweet as Cloone River went one better and bashed the Galway bookmakers in the process. He was sent off at 7/2 despite being 16/1 a week beforehand and netted connections a reputed €500,000.

  • 2016:  12 months ago Intrepid Price landed a proper old fashioned Galway Festival gamble. Winless in a ten race career trainer Michael O’Callaghan knew the true strength of his horse and he sent a band of punters into the Galway Festival betting ring loaded with cash who ‘hit’ approximately 40 bookmakers simultaneously.  The 25/1 morning line vanished, as did the official opening show of 16/1 and every price down to Intrepid Prince SP of 7/1. Taking the lead after a furlong, the maiden kicked well clear a furlong from home and ultimately won eased down.

Galway Festival Betting Tips 2017

So what will be the biggest gamble of the seven-day 2017 Galway Festival betting extravaganza, which stages both flat and jumps horse racing (starting on July 31st) and will it be landed?  

There’s 52 races in total (offering over €2 million in prize-money), so there’s no shortage of Galway betting opportunities that’s for sure.  If only we had a crystal ball.

So here’s some things to consider when plotting your own winning Galway bets:

Dermot Weld has been champion trainer at this meeting for 29 of the last 30 years. In 2010 he visited the winner’s enclosure 11 times but 12 months later he smashed that with a phenomenal 17 winners.  

Little wonder Irish bookmakers, Paddy Power, tried to launch a campaign to change the name of Galway Festival Races to ‘the Dermot Weld Retirement Home’!

But Willie Mullins has begun targeting the meeting and, in turn, mopping up a lot of the jumps races.  In 2015 he had eight winners, last year he had nine.  Not bad considering he saddled just 17 runners!

And take a close look at horses owned by JP McManus.  The owner loves a winner here and also loves a big bet at Galway races.  In 2014 his Carlingford Lough landed Galway’s flagship race, the Galway Plate, under Tony McCoy.  In doing so he landed a massive gamble in a race in which he was only a reserve hours before the tapes went up.  In fact his participation only came around as a result of a late withdrawal of another McManus owned horse (Like Your Style).  

You can expect JP McManus to be in the Galway winner’s enclosure again in 2017 and if one of his runners is subject to strong market support, you could do worse than follow it. 

Today’s Horse Racing Cards are here >