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Galway Racing Festival to go a...
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Galway Racing Festival to go ahead on its original dates

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16:30 21 May 2020

The 2020 Galway Festival will retain its traditional dates as part of a new July calendar from Horse Racing Ireland. 

This year's festival at Ballybrit is due to be held from Monday July 27 to Sunday August 2.

Meanwhile, Tattersalls Gold Cup day has been confirmed for The Curragh on July 26.

It had come under serious doubt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Galway Race Committee remained hopeful it could proceed behind closed doors.

Racing in Ireland is to resume in front of empty stands, and under strict medical protocols at Naas on June 8.

47 meetings are now planned for July, three more than originally scheduled.

Horse Racing Ireland'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."

While the Galway Festival maintains its original dates, there will be some alterations to proceedings during the week.

The opening two days will host Flat races only while the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday fixtures will be all National Hunt.

The meeting will conclude, in the first two days of August, with two all-Flat cards. The Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle will be run on the Wednesday and Thursday as normal.

Meanwhile, HRI stipulate that, "All race meetings will be a single code with no mixed meetings to minimise the number of people working at the racecourse on each day.

"Many cards have been programmed with the possibility of a divide included to respond as effectively as possible to the demands of the horse population."

Killarney has seen its usual number of race days for July reduced from five to three. The balance will be rescheduled later in the year.

Gold Cup day is one of two extra fixtures at The Curragh, with the other coming on July 10.

The full fixture list for June and July can be viewed here.

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Ballybrit Galway Festival Galway Races HRI Horse Racing Ireland Tattersalls Gold Cup The Curragh

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