Belfast Telegraph

Sun shines as punters make hay in Galway

By Staff Reporter

And they're off. The annual Galway Races were blessed with some welcome sunshine yesterday – allowing the feather-and-lace-wearing section of the crowd to breathe a sigh of relief.

Racecourse manager John Moloney was basking in the evening sunshine. There had been no need for him to place the Child of Prague to pray for good weather under the Killanan Stand – yet.

"That's for later in the week," he smiled.

And with the weather forecast looking a bit ominous for Ladies Day tomorrow, a keen punter would be offered short odds on John being spotted dusting off a holy statue at sundown.

The second night of the week-long festival is less about razzmatazz and more about racing and relaxation. Irish politicians and media figures were among those who turned out in their finest to add to the laid-back atmosphere.

Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone was sporting a particularly chic ensemble, including an elegant veiled chapeau by Philip Treacy.

A spokesman for Paddy Power revealed the bookie had taken a bit of a hit from on-form punters.

He rather colourfully sighed: "I haven't been this cleaned out since my last colonic irrigation. It was a dream start for the punters as they tucked into the bookies as fast as they did their pints, and it continued for the rest of the evening to leave us well and truly battered," he said.

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