How Does the Galway Plate Compare to Top UK Horse Racing Events?


The Galway Plate is one of Ireland’s most notable horse races and for good reason. It is steeped in rich history and the races are thrilling. The steeplechase event is set out across a distance of 2 and a half miles (almost 5 km). The thrilling race includes 14 fences for competitors to vault over.

History of the Galway Plate 

There are records of organised race meetings in Galway stretching right back to the mid-13th Century. The Galway Plate itself is over 150 years old. 

First set up in 1869, the annual Galway Plate event usually takes place in late July or early August. The Plate refers to the prize money which back in the 19th century was 100 sovereigns. Today, the prize money is 250,000 Euros. 

The race is part of the Galway Festival which runs for seven days. The Galway Plate is always a thrilling race and carries the history and tradition of the Galway Festival.

But how does it measure up to the United Kingdom’s top festivals?

Cheltenham Festival

Horse racing events in the United Kingdom also capture a similar feeling of excitement and historic grandeur as the Plate. Of these, one of the best known is the Cheltenham Festival.

Taking place in the middle of March, Cheltenham is an event for all race fans to look forward to. It comprises 28 races run over four days of competition. 

Thousands of race fans attend every year, runners and riders compete for the large prize purse of money. Across the festival there is over 4.5 million pounds to be won by the competitors.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is for many the most prestigious race in the festival. A first prize of 650,000 GBP is awarded to the victor of the race ran over 3 miles and 2 and a half furlongs. 

First run in July 1819, the Gold Cup is a standout event in UK racing. The race includes 22 fences for horses to jump over, making it a thrilling prospect for viewers either in the stand or watching on screen. 

Anyone keen to add even more excitement to the occasion can check out Cheltenham festival predictions from OLBG

Cheltenham is a major festival for all fans of horse racing. Last year, Rachel Blackmore made history as the first female jockey to win the most races at the festival. 

The Irish jockey won six of the races at Cheltenham in 2021, including a win at the Champion Hurdle on the horse Honeysuckle. 

The Grand National 

The Grand National is another of the UK’s best known race meetings. The three-day festival takes place in April, with the Grand National itself held on the last day.

The event is held at the Aintree Grand National Course every year. The four-and-a-half-mile long race captures the imagination of race fans all over the world. Last year it was estimated that the worldwide TV audience was 600 million

The marathon race sees a field of around 40 horses and jockeys race across the famous course with its 30 fences. The race has been around since 1839 and is always a highlight in the racing calendar. 

The prize fund for The Grand National is over 1 million GBP, with more than half allotted for the winner.  

The steeplechase event shares the excitement of the Galway Plate. Both races have the extra unpredictability of the jumps. This makes the races an extra challenge for horses and jockeys, which is why the rewards are so great. 

The Aintree racecourse is also fascinating for visitors eager to experience the glamour of the races. Hospitality tents and onsite restaurants can offer fine dining and memorable luxury.

Ladbrokes Trophy

Located in Newbury, the Ladbrokes Trophy is an annual National Hunt steeplechase event. 

Ran over just above 3 miles with a total of 21 jumps, the race is another popular UK race meeting.  

Taking place every year in late November or early December, the race is sometimes referred to as the Winter Carnival. Providing visitors with the chance to welcome in the holiday season in style, the event is an important one in the racing calendar. 

Formerly known as the Hennessey Gold Cup, the race is a handicap event, so-called because the horses carry different weights depending on their speeds.  

The purse for winners is around 200,000 GBP, with over half going to the winner. Since the first Hennessy Gold Cup took place in 1957, the event has proven to be a popular one in the racing world. 

Key horse racing events in both Ireland and the UK offer racing fans a stimulating experience. The steeplechase excitement of the Galway Plate is mirrored in the UK’s top events throughout the year.