The gates have opened at Ballybrit , as the Galway Summer racing festival gets underway this evening.

Horse racing enthusiasts and fashionistas from across the country will gather in Galway this week for the 150th year of the renowned festival.

The first of 7 races this evening is off at 5.20pm.

The festival is worth about €54 million to the local economy, and 145,000 people are expected to attend over the course of the week.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina will attend the races on Wednesday - Galway Plate Day, while Ladies Day takes place on Thursday.

Saturday is family day at the Galway Races, while the Mad Hatters competition takes place next Sunday, on the final day of the festival.



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