Weather still can't deter crowds from flocking to BallybritAugust 2, 2012 - 7:00am
Crowds of over 40,000 are expected to converge on Ballybrit today (Thursday) for the highlight of the 2012 Galway Racing Festival, the Guinness Galway Hurdle, Ireland’s richest national hunt race worth a whopping €260,000 in prizemoney.
Though attendances won’t match the 48,000 record set during the ‘boom’ times, the crowd at Ladies Day at the summer festival will be by far the biggest attendance at any race day in the country this year - at least 15,000 more punters are expected through the turnstiles today than at the Punchestown Festival Ladies Day earlier this year.
So far the festival has had a ‘mixed bag’ in terms of attendances and betting figures - with the weather a huge factor - but organisers are confident that come Sunday attendances for the seven-day festival will be around the 150,000 mark while the boost to the local economy should be upwards of €60 million.
See full coverage of the Galway Races in this week's Connacht Tribune.