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Galway festival prize-money boosted to more than €2 million

Runners parade in front of the stands ahead of the Galway Plate
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Prize-money for the summer festival at Galway will break through the €2 million barrier for the first time following a €123,000 increase on last year's kitty.

There has been a €30,000 boost to thetote.com Galway Plate on August 2, with €250,000 now up for grabs in the ultra-competitive handicap chase.

Tim Higgins, chief executive of Tote Ireland, said: "We're delighted that the historical thetote.com Galway Plate will this year be worth €250,000, an increase of €30,000 on last year’s race value.

"The race has a long, proud tradition at the heart of Irish racing so it’s great news. The race is always a thrilling one and its quality really stands up, especially when you look at the most recent winners."

The richest race of the week is the Guinness Galway Hurdle, won last year by Clondaw Warrior, and it will once again have prize-money of €300,000.

Clondaw Warrior: winner of the Galway Hurdle last year
The opening-day feature (July 31), the Connacht Hotel Handicap, is now worth €100,000 (up from €80,000), and with the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap (August 1), Guinness Handicap (August 4), Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle (August 5) and Irish Stallion Farms EBF 'Ahonoora' Handicap (August 6), all seven days will feature a race worth at least €100,000.

"It's a huge credit to our sponsors and Horse Racing Ireland who with their support have enabled us to offer for the very first time a feature race every day valued at a minimum of €100,000," said Galway general manager Michael Moloney.

"It's also particularly pleasing to see the minimum race value of every race during the festival set at €15,000. We have an exciting programme for 2017 and look forward to offering some great racing and entertainment."

It's also particularly pleasing to see the minimum race value of every race during the festival set at €15,000
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