Galway Mile Handicap

James Dooley avatar

Written By:


The Galway Mile, currently run as the Colm Quinn BMW Mile, is a valuable handicap at the Galway Summer Festival.

The Galway Mile Handicap takes place on the 1st of August 2024.

The race has been successfully targeted by Ado McGuinness in recent seasons, He won it twice with Saltonstall (2019, 2020) before striking with 50-1 chance Sirjack Thomas in 2021. He narrowly failed to make it four in a row when Casanova was beaten half a length by Magic Chegaga in 2022.

Find out more about Galway Mile:


Galway Mile Handicap

Race Overview – The Galway Mile

The Galway Mile Handicap is an annual race held at the Galway Racecourse in August. The race is for horses aged 3 and up and is over a stiff 8 furlongs.

Check out our guides to all the other Irish Premier Handicap horse races.

Famous Galway Mile Handicap Winners

The Galway Mile is one of the most valuable mile handicaps of the season in Ireland. It is open to three-year-olds and upwards and carried prize money of over 100,000 Euros in 2022. The most notable aspect of the race in recent seasons has been the dominance of Trainer Ado McGuinness.

In 2019 and 2020 he won it with Saltonstall, formerly owned by Godolphin and trained by Michael Halford. After finishing second in the Irish Lincoln and winning at the Curragh, he lost his form and joined McGuinness in January 2019. Having once been rated 103, he recovered his form to win the Galway Mile off a mark of 89 and followed up off 97 the next season.

Saltonstall was sixth when attempting the hat-trick in 2021 behind stable companion Sirjack Thomas.

McGuinness set his sights on a fourth consecutive victory in 2022 and saddled eight of the eighteen runners. Casanova did best of his team, staying on strongly in the closing stages but unable to catch Magic Chegaga.

Willie Mullins is another trainer to have made his mark in the Galway Mile, recording back-to-back victories with Riven Light (2017, 2018). In typical Mullins fashion, Riven Light was given an unorthodox preparation in a mile and a half handicap for his first victory. In 2018 he overcame a 290-day absence to win off a 16lbs higher mark with the welter burden of 10st 1lb on his back.

Key Galway Mile Handicap Trials

Winners of the Galway Mile have come from a wide range of trials in recent years.

Handicaps at the Curragh over a mile and ten furlongs have both featured.

The Galway Mile is often used as a trial for the seven furlong Ahonoora Handicap later in the Galway Festival. Current Option ran in this race before all three of his victories in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Dream Walker and Baraweez also contested the valuable mile handicap prior to victories in the Ahonoora.

There have been two winning favourites in the Galway Mile in the past ten seasons; Creggs Pipes (2016) and Riven Light (2017). Although Riven Light had been campaigned over hurdles that spring, an eye-catching third over a mile and a half on the flat alerted everyone to his lenient handicap mark. He justified heavy market support to win as the 7-2 favourite.

Hint Of A Tint (2015) and Magic Chegaga (2022) were well supported and returned at 6-1.

Saltonstall (9-1 and 11-1) and 2013 winner Brendan Brackan (10-1) were also quite well backed but very few were on 50-1 outsider Sirjack Thomas in 2021.

Horses aged five and six have the best recent record, accounting for eight of the last ten winners between them.

Galway Mile Handicap – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Ado McGuinness stands out as the leading trainer in the Galway Mile in recent seasons with three winners and a second.

Willie Mullins won it twice with Riven Light.

Colin Keane has won it three times in the last ten years; Brendan Brackan (2013), Saltonstall (2019) and Magic Chegaga (2022). Declan McDonogh won it on Creggs Pipes (2016) and Riven Light (2017).

Betting on the Galway Mile Handicap

The Galway Mile is one of the highlights of the Galway Summer Festival.

Ado McGuinness is always likely to have a strong hand in this race and take a note of his beaten horses for the Ahonoora Handicap later in the week.

Best Galway Mile Handicap Betting Sites

If looking to place a bet on the Galway Mile or on one of the other top classes throughout the week check these Irish betting sites, many of these made our list of the best betting websites in the world, with a range of benefits including live streaming, free bet credits and more.

Summary of Galway Mile Handicap

We hope you have enjoyed our guide to the Galway Mile.

We have looked at the history of the race, betting trends, previous winners, trainer form and more. It is one of the high-lights of the famous Galway Festival.

Popular Questions

Where is the Galway Mile held?

The Galway Mile is held at Galway Racecourse.