The 2010 Galway Festival gets underway at 5.10pm today with punters and bookmakers looking forward to seven days of excitement on the flat and over the jumps.
The festival gets more popular each year and crowds close to a quarter million are expected this week.
Bookmakers, never slow to spot a growing opportunity, are offering some special offers to punters in addition to free bet offers available to new customers.
Fittingly, the two leading Irish bookmakers are first into the affray with an offer on the Cartlton.ie/Galway City Handicap which goes off at 7.00pm.
Paddy Power and Boylesports will give customers a refund if their horse finishes second and the SP favourite wins the race.
Victor Chandler and Ladbrokes are paying ¼ odds a place for all races at today’s Galway meeting.
The major firms are offering best odds guaranteed to online customers for all the Galway races, but check first as one or two may be more selective with the offer making it limited to specific races.
The man to watch during the festival is trainer Dermot Weld, he has saddled over 200 winners at the festival, reaching the landmark figure in 2008.
He’ll bring over 50 runners to the festival and will be disappointed with less than 10 winners.
He has a particularly good record in maiden races, conditions races and the big handicaps.