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Galway Race Committee honoured at Moyglare Dinner

Galway Race Committee was honoured by the Turf Club at the annual Moyglare Dinner held in the K Club on Saturday last, 7 January, 2012.  Each year at the Dinner the Turf Club honours an individual or an organisation who has either had an exceptional year, or who over a period of time, has made a major contribution to racing in Ireland.  Galway Race Committee was the worthy recipient of the award this year for a contribution that dates back almost 150 years.  The presentation was made by the former Turf Club Senior Steward, John McStay, along with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, who was the guest of honour at the Moyglare Dinner.

In making the presentation, Mr McStay said that Galway held a very special place in the heart and minds of all those interested in racing.  He particularly noted the Festival meeting at the end of July which "year in year out attracts record crowds to Ballybrit ".
He noted that the story of racing in Galway dated back to 17 August 1869 when the first ever race meeting was held there.  “The first horse ever to win a race at Galway was a pony called Tom Tit.  On that day a far more significant race took place, however, which was the Galway Plate.  That race was won by Absentee.  Happily, despite many changes both the Racecourse and the Galway Plate have survived to this day and indeed both continue to thrive".
Mr McStay said Galway could well be described as “the home of racing records.  In 2006 the biggest attendance at any race meeting in recent years was recorded on Galway Hurdle Day when 46,000 people attended.  The total attendance at the Festival that year was just under 217,000 for the seven days of the Festival – a remarkable achievement.”
“Galway has broken practically every betting record in the book over the years.  Last year on Galway Hurdle Day €4 million was bet on course. This was the biggest one day betting figure anywhere in Ireland last year.”

“But it is not all about breaking records.  Many top class horses have run and won at Galway and used Galway as a stepping stone to greater things.  It is quite fitting that we make this award here at the Moyglare Dinner for many horses owned by Moyglare Stud have achieved great success at Galway.   Two that immediately come to mind are Go and Go and Dance Design.   In 2011 Wrote trained by Aidan O'Brien who won at the August meeting went on to Breeders Cup success in the US".
"Indicative of the continuing strength of Galway 2012 will see the first ever listed flat race being held at the Festival meeting.  This will add a further dimension to racing at Galway.”
In concluding his remarks he said that success doesn’t happen by accident and he complimented the work of what he described as one of the hardest working race committees in the country which is headed up by Tim Naughton.  He also complimented racecourse manager John Moloney who he said had done an outstanding job over the years.
The award was accepted by Tim Naughton, Chairman of Galway Race Committee.

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