Galway Racecourse History
NOTE:The badges displayed on this page are not authentic and are for artistic display only.

The earliest record of racing in the vicinity of Galway was in the middle of the 18th century when staged at Kiltulla. Results were included in Cheney’s Racing Register from 1750. Throughout the early years of the 19th century Galway races were held at Kiltulla and the Bushfield Course. Newspaper extracts shown below indicate that Kiltulla was used in the 1820s and 1830s, while races were staged at the Bushfield Course in the late 1830s and 1840s. However, the present day Galway track is located at Ballybrit, staging its inaugural meeting on Tuesday 17th August 1869 when an enormous crowd in excess of 40000 is reported to have attended. The racecourse stands on land donated by Captain Wilson Lynch, and the Chairman of the Stewards at the inaugural meeting was the Galway MP Lord St Lawrence, ably assisted by, amongst others, keen racing supporters Lord Claremorris and the Marquis of Clanricard. As was customary in those early days, the meeting was supported by the Midland and Great Western Railway, and they generously offered to transport horses to the races without charge. The meeting has gone from strength to strength, its principal race being the Galway Plate and its feature event the Galway Festival. The Galway Plate was first run in 1869 when won by Absentee, owned by Mr R Bell, who defeated 12 others to land the prize. The Galway Plate is always keenly contested, but one horse, Tipperary Boy, cemented his place in history by winning the Plate in 1899 and repeating the feat in 1901 and again in 1902. Full details of winners of the Galway Plate are given below. The Galway Festival is usually held in the last week of July and lasts for the full seven days. Currently the course hosts 12 fixtures annually.
Tuesday 17th August 1869
Galway Plate over 2 ½ miles of Steeplechase course

1. Absentee (3/1), bay mare owned by Mr Bell and ridden by W Bell
2. Quickstep (2/1 fav), 5 year old owned by Mr T Jackson and ridden by T Ryan
3. Lady Clarendon (10/1), aged horse owned by Mr J McDonogh and ridden by M Broden
4. Erin (7/1), chestnut mare owned by Mr H Blake and ridden by Gray

Although Galway remains a thriving racecourse, nearby Loughrea closed its gates for the final time in 1972.

The Irish racecourse at the town of Loughrea first staged a two day meeting spread over three days from Monday 24th August 1752. The Loughrea £40 Purse was won by Thomas Lambert’s Starling, while the Gentlemen’s Subscription Purse went to Mr Dillon’s chestnut gelding. Ten years later a full five day meeting, extending from Friday 8th to Wednesday 13th October 1762, featured a Handicap restricted to Irish Bred horses which was won by Modesty owned by Mr Donough.  In 1793 the local stewards were concerned about unknown outsiders coming in and poaching their races. They asked the Turf Club to rule on whether horses not known to the local Loughrea stewards should be allowed to run in their races. The Irish Turf Club ruled they should not. Unrest in the early part of the 19th century and the great famine in the middle of the century both threatened the existence of Loughrea, and they did lose some meetings. However, the Knockbarron course was packed for the two day meeting on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th May 1867. The final meeting of note took place on Tuesday 22nd August 1916.

Monday 24th August 1752
Loughrea £40 Purse over 4 miles
1. Starling, bay horse owned by Thomas Lambert
2. Blunder, bay horse owned by Walter Taylor
3. Batchelor, bay gelding owned by Arthur Judge

I am grateful to Google Maps (© Googlemap) for permission to use the map shown below.

The Galway Plate was first contested in 1821 when run in heats. However, the inaugural running, over 2 ½ miles, on the current Ballybrit racecourse took place in 1869, with full results shown below.
1869 The Galway Plate was won by Absentee (3/1), owned by Mr Bell and ridden by W Bell 14 ran
1870 The Galway Plate was won by Comet (5/1), owned by Mr Moffatt and ridden by Mr Whyte 18 ran
1871 The Galway Plate was won by Aster (12/1) 29 ran
1872 The Galway Plate was won by Belle (3/1), owned by Mr Maher and ridden by W Bell 15 ran
1874 The Galway Plate was won by Revoke (5/1), owned by Mr St James and ridden by T Miller 19 ran
1875 The Galway Plate was won by The Liberator
1877 The Galway Plate was won by Tattoo (5/1), owned by J G Blake and ridden by W Canavan 13 ran
1878 The Galway Plate was won by Jupiter Tonans (2/1 fav), owned and ridden by Mr Lee Barber 9 ran
1879 The Galway Plate was won by Rocksavage (8/1), owned by Mr Wilson and ridden by Mr Lee Barber 12 ran
1880 The Galway Plate was won by Lady Newman (7/1), owned by Mr J Monahan and ridden by D Meany 9 ran
1881 The Galway Plate was won by Night Fall (6/1), owned by Mr H E Linde and ridden by Mr T Berstey 8 ran
1882 The Galway Plate was won by Sugar Plum (6/1), owned by Captain Tyl Kirkwood and ridden by Mr H Beasley 9 ran
1883 The Galway Plate was won by Ventriloquist (5/6 fav), owned by Captain Walker and ridden by H Beasley 4 ran
1887 The Galway Plate was won by Victrix (3/1) owned by Mr C W Bagge and ridden by Mr W P Cullen 6 ran
1888 The Galway Plate was won by Fethard (7/2), owned by Mr J A Cassidy and ridden by J Hoysted 9 ran
1889 The Galway Plate was won by Alexander (4/1), owned by Mr Frazer and ridden by T Kavanagh 6 ran
1890 The Galway Plate was won by Lakefield (6/1), owned by Mr J Bardy, trained by Dennehy and ridden by J Walsh 6 ran

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1891 The Galway Plate was won by Queen of the May
1892 The Galway Plate was won by Springfield Maid (4/1), owned by Mr Leonard and ridden by E Rielly 5 ran
1893 The Galway Plate was won by Lady Pat (Evens fav), owned by Major Alexander and ridden by T Batley 7 ran
1894 The Galway Plate was won by Star One (8/1), owned by Mr G V Briscoe and ridden by E Reilly 12 ran
1896 The Galway Plate was won by Castle Warden (5/2 fav), owned by Mr R C Dawson and ridden by Mr W P Cullen 9 ran
1897 The Galway Plate was won by Drogheda (4/1), owned by Mr Gradwell, trained by Gradwell and ridden by Dowdall 7 ran
1898 The Galway Plate was won by Boreenchrogue (8/1), owned by Mr Cleary and ridden by J Cheshire 9 ran
1899 The Galway Plate was won by Tipperary Boy (8/1), owned by Mr T B Holmes and ridden by T Moran 19 ran
1900 The Galway Plate was won by Ivanoff (10/1), owned by Mr Leybuck, trained by F Moran and ridden by J O’Brien 19 ran
1901 The Galway Plate was won by Tipperary Boy, owned by Mr T B Holmes
1902 The Galway Plate was won by Tipperary Boy (6/1), owned by Mr T B Holmes and ridden by T Kavanagh 9 ran
1903 The Galway Plate was won by Hampton Boy (5/2 fav), owned by T McMahon and ridden by Anthony 12 ran
1904 The Galway Plate was won by Strategy (4/1 fav), owned by C E Byrne and ridden by A Magee 12 ran
1905 The Galway Plate was won by Goldfield (7/2 fav), owned by Mr A Buckley, trained by E Malone and ridden by M Walsh 10 ran
1906 The Galway Plate was won by Royal Tara (8/1), owned by Mr J Read, trained by D Shanahan and ridden by R Morgan 13 ran
1907 The Galway Plate was won by Apollo Belvedere (6/1), owned by Colonel Kirkwood and ridden by P Butler 11 ran
1908 The Galway Plate was won by Shady Girl (5/1), owned by Mr M Arnott 14 ran

Details of Galway Races in the early part of the 19th century from a varied selection of newspapers are shown below courtesy of the British Library Online.

1909 The Galway Plate was won by Schwarmer (5/1), owned by Mr M Farrell and ridden by Anthony 14 ran
1910 The Galway Plate was won by Ashbrooke, trained and ridden by Harry Ussher
1911 The Galway Plate was won by Dear Sonny
1912 The Galway Plate was won by Noble Grecian, owned by Sir George Abercromby and ridden by G Brown
1913 The Galway Plate was won by George B (10/1), owned by Sir T Dixon, trained by Ruttle and ridden by George Harty 15 ran
1914 The Galway Plate was won by Alice Rockthorn (8/1), owned by Mr James Nugent and ridden by Anthony 17 ran
1915 The Galway Plate was won by Hill of Camas (20/1), owned by W Moloney, trained privately and ridden by George Harty 13 ran
1916 The Galway Plate was won by Never Fear (20/1), owned by Mr T Nolan, trained by Walker and ridden by F Morgan 20 ran
1917 The Galway Plate was won by Privit (20/1), owned by Major D McCalmont, trained by Maxwell Arnott and ridden by W Smith 18 ran
1918 The Galway Plate was won by Golden Fleece (7/1 jf), owned by Mr W Parrish, trained by Rogers and ridden by Stubbs 21 ran
1919 The Galway Plate was won by Picture Saint (20/1), owned by Colonel Croft, trained by Harry Ussher and ridden by M Colbert 17 ran
1920 The Galway Plate was won by Clonree (3/1), owned by Mrs Owen Toole, trained and ridden by Frank Morgan 21 ran
1921 The Galway Plate was won by Max (4/1), owned by Mrs Croft, trained by Harry Ussher and ridden by Frank Wootton 14 ran
1923 The Galway Plate was won by Clonsheever (10/1), owned by J E Tyrrell and trained by Harry Ussher 10 ran
1924 The Galway Plate was won by Clonsheever (8/1), owned by Mr J E Tyrrell and ridden by Harry Ussher 13 ran
1925 The Galway Plate was won by Blancona (6/1), owned by Mr F Barbour, trained by C Brabazon and ridden by C Donnelly 11 ran
1926 The Galway Plate was won by Fair Richard (6/4 fav), owned and trained by Mr Maxwell Arnott and ridden by D Ward 9 ran

1928 The Galway Plate was won by East Galway (Evens fav), owned by Mr J Shepherd, trained by M Arnott and ridden by D Ward 11 ran
1929 The Galway Plate was won by Guiding Light (6/1), owned by Mrs D’Ardenne, trained by J Dawson and ridden by P Powell 13 ran
1930 The Galway Plate was won by East Galway (5/4 fav), owned by Mr J Shepherd, trained by M Arnott and ridden by J McNeill 12 ran
1931 The Galway Plate was won by Pucka Shikhara (100/8), owned, trained and ridden by Mr Mangan 11 ran
1932 The Galway Plate was won by Seaview
1933 The Galway Plate was won by Red Park (3/1), owned by Lady McCalmont, trained by Barry and ridden by D Kirwan 12 ran
1934 The Galway Plate was won by Reviewer, owned by Mrs O’Neill and ridden by Mr Poddy Sleator 9 ran
1935 The Galway Plate was won by Southernmore (10/1), owned and trained by Captain B A Gargan and ridden by J Hamey 18 ran
1936 The Galway Plate was won by Yellow Furze (4/1 fav), owned by Lt-Colonel Hill-Dillon and ridden by J McNeill 14 ran
1937 The Galway Plate was won by Brighter Cottage (8/1 fav), owned by Captain Daly, trained by Harry Ussher and ridden by W O’Grady 16 ran
1938 The Galway Plate was won by Symaethis (20/1), owned by Lt-Colonel S S Hill-Dillon, trained by Fetherstonhaugh and ridden by D Butchers 23 ran
1939 The Galway Plate was won by Pulcher (100/8), owned by Colonel Scott Moore, trained by Fetherstonhaugh and ridden by J Costello 18 ran
1940 The Galway Plate was won by Ring of Gold (100/8), owned by Colonel D W Daley and ridden by T McNeill 17 ran
1941 The Galway Plate was won by St Martin (6/4 fav), owned by Miss Mathieson, trained by C Brabazon and ridden by A Brabazon 13 ran
1942 The Galway Plate was won by Golden Jack (7/4 fav), owned by Miss Dorothy Paget and ridden by D L Moore
1943 The Galway Plate was won by Swindon Glory (5/1)
1944 The Galway Plate was won by Cockasnook (20/1) 15 ran
1945 The Galway Plate was won by Grecian Victory ridden by D Morgan 17 ran
1946 The Galway Plate was won by Keep Faith (7/1 jf) 19 ran
1947 The Galway Plate was won by Charles Edward (100/6), owned by Mr R McIlhagga and ridden by J Brogan 21 ran
1948 The Galway Plate was won by Silent Prayer (100/8) ridden by T Molony
1949 The Galway Plate was won by Result (20/1), trained by P Jackson and ridden by Mr F Jackson 15 ran
1950 The Galway Plate was won by Derrinstown (100/7), trained by G Flood and ridden by F McKenna 15 ran
1951 The Galway Plate was won by St Kathleen II

1952 The Galway Plate was won by Alberoni
1953 The Galway Plate was won by Gallant Wolf
1954 The Galway Plate was won by Amber Point
1955 The Galway Plate was won by Umm
1956 The Galway Plate was won by Amber Point
1957 The Galway Plate was won by Knight Errant
1958 The Galway Plate was won by Hopeful Colleen
1959 The Galway Plate was won by Highfield Lad
1960 The Galway Plate was won by Sparkling Flame (5/4 fav)
1961 The Galway Plate was won by Clipador (7/4 fav)
1962 The Galway Plate was won by Carraroe
1963 The Galway Plate was won by Blunts Cross
1964 The Galway Plate was won by Ross Sea
1965 The Galway Plate was won by Ross Sea
1966 The Galway Plate was won by Cappawhite
1967 The Galway Plate was won by Royal Day

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1968 The Galway Plate was won by Terossian
1969 The Galway Plate was won by Royal Day
1970 The Galway Plate was won by Lisnaree
1971 The Galway Plate was won by Sarejay Day (33/1) ridden by Sammy Shields
1972 The Galway Plate was won by Persian Lark
1973 The Galway Plate was won by Leap Frog
1974 The Galway Plate was won by Bunclody Tiger
1975 The Galway Plate was won by Our Albert
1976 The Galway Plate was won by O'Leary
1977 The Galway Plate was won by Spittin' Image
1978 The Galway Plate was won by Shining Flame, owned by J P McManus, trained by Edward O’Grady and ridden by Niall Madden
1979 The Galway Plate was won by Hindhope, trained by Edward O’Grady and ridden by Jonjo O’Neill
1980 The Galway Plate was won by Sir Barry
1981 The Galway Plate was won by Rugged Lucy, trained by Edward O’Grady and ridden by Tommt Ryan
1982 The Galway Plate was won by The Lady's Master
1983 The Galway Plate was won by Hamers Flame

1984 The Galway Plate was won by Master Player (40/1), trained by Tom Bergin and ridden by Joe Byrne
1985 The Galway Plate was won by Chow Mein
1986 The Galway Plate was won by Boro Quarter, owned by Mrs Charmian Hill, trained by Paddy Mullins and ridden by Peter Kavanagh
1987 The Galway Plate was won by Randoss (6/1 fav), trained by Miss Anne Collen and ridden by Ken Morgan 22 ran
1988 The Galway Plate was won by Afford A King, trained by Tony Mullins and ridden by Padge Gill
1989 The Galway Plate was won by Bold Flyer (8/1), trained by Jim Dreaper and ridden by Sarah Collen 18 ran
1990 The Galway Plate was won by Kiichi (2/1 fav), trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Brendan Sheridan
1991 The Galway Plate was won by Firions Law (9/1), trained by Victor Bowens and ridden by Mickey Flynn 21 ran
1992 The Galway Plate was won by The Gooser (25/1), trained by Paddy Mullins and ridden by Adrian Maguire 21 ran
1993 The Galway Plate was won by General Idea (9/2 fav), trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Adrian Maguire 21 ran
1994 The Galway Plate was won by Feathered Gale (8/1), trained by Arthur Moore and ridden by Francis Woods 22 ran
1995 The Galway Plate was won by Life of a Lord (12/1), trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Trevor Horgan 21 ran
1996 The Galway Plate was won by Life of a Lord (9/2), trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Charlie Swan 17 ran
1997 The Galway Plate was won by Stroll Home (11/2), trained by Jimmy Mangan and ridden by Paul Carberry 22 ran
1998 The Galway Plate was won by Amlah (16/1), trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Brendan Powell 22 ran
1999 The Galway Plate was won by Moscow Express (4/1), trained by Frances Crowley and ridden by Ruby Walsh 21 ran

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2000 The Galway Plate was won by Dovaly (20/1), trained by Michael O’Brien and ridden by Tom Rudd 22 ran
2001 The Galway Plate was won by Grimes (4/1), trained by Christy Roche and ridden by Conor O’Dwyer 14 ran
2002 The Galway Plate was won by Rockholm Boy (20/1), trained by Michael Hourigan and ridden by Keith Hadnett 22 ran
2003 The Galway Plate was won by Nearly A Moose (25/1), trained by Paddy Mullins and ridden by Robbie Power 22 ran
2004 The Galway Plate was won by Ansar (10/1), trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by David Casey 22 ran
2005 The Galway Plate was won by Ansar (10/1), trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Denis O’Regan 22 ran
2006 The Galway Plate was won by Far From Trouble (8/1), trained by Christy Roche and ridden by Roger Loughran 22 ran
2007 The Galway Plate was won by Sir Frederick (12/1), trained by Liam Burke and ridden by Kevin Coleman 22 ran
2008 The Galway Plate was won by Oslot (11/4), trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh 22 ran
2009 The Galway Plate was won by Ballyholland (16/1), trained by Colin McBratney and ridden by Andrew McNamara 20 ran
2010 The Galway Plate was won by Finger Onthe Pulse (22/1), trained by Tom Taaffe and ridden by Tony McCoy 22 ran
2011 The Galway Plate was won by Blazing Tempo (5/1), trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend 22 ran
2012 The Galway Plate was won by Bob Lingo (16/1), trained by Thomas Mullins and ridden by Mark Walsh 20 ran
2013 The Galway Plate was won by Carlingford Lough (7/2), trained by John Kiely and ridden by Tony McCoy 22 ran
2014 The Galway Plate was won by Road To Riches (14/1), trained by Noel Meade and ridden by Shane Shortall 22 ran
2015 The Galway Plate was won by Shanahan’s Turn (16/1), trained by Henry de Bromhead and ridden by Johnny Burke 22 ran
2016 The Galway Plate was won by Lord Scoundrel (10/1), trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Donagh Meyler 22 ran

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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