Curragh redevelopment now budgeted to cost €70 million
Ryan Moore draws a blank from his dozen Ballydoyle rides over weekend meetings
Ryan Moore got a one-day suspension for careless riding in concluding maiden at Naas to cap frustrating weekend. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Ireland’s racing authorities are now budgeting the cost of the Curragh redevelopment at €70 million, with up to €40 million of that coming from private investors.
The cost of the project at Irish racing’s headquarters was originally put at €65 million, under the umbrella of a new Curragh company made up of one-third shares between the Turf Club, the State – through Horse Racing Ireland, and private investors.
Half-a dozen-investors, including Coolmore Stud and the Aga Khan, initially put in €5 million each in 2015. But Horse Racing Ireland’s chief executive Brian Kavanagh has confirmed another €2 million has been raised since and anticipates more to come.
“The intention has always been to look for more investment and we are actively doing that. A number of people have been very supportive and I think some scepticism about the project going ahead has changed. I anticipate up to €40 million towards the project could ultimately come from them,” he said on Sunday.
“Financially we were originally looking at €30 million from investors, €30 million through HRI and €5 million in debt. The Turf Club’s third was made up of the asset and goodwill. Now we have €32 million from investors, HRI’s €30 million, and the intention is to bring the sum up to €70 million for the project.
“That would leave plenty of wriggle room and that’s welcome with the nature of these things. Most importantly it will allow the new company to immediately trade profitably and with no legacy debt,” Kavanagh added.
Voting share unchanged
The HRI boss stressed that the voting share on the Curragh board between the Turf Club, HRI and investors was unchanged at a third each. “That’s essentially there to protect the track for racing,” he said.
Kavanagh added that the plan to race a curtailed programme in front of temporary facilities, with a crowd cap of 6,000, through this summer and the summer of 2018, remained unchanged.
“No one was going to the Curragh and then suddenly there’s a cap and it becomes an issue,” he said. “The stands at the Curragh were there for 60 years and in that context a two-year period for this construction isn’t long.”
“Naas hosted another transferred Curragh card on Sunday and it concluded a frustrating weekend for Ryan Moore.
“Yucatan hardly stood out as a potential Derby champion by finishing only third to Joseph O’Brien’s new recruit Rekindling in Saturday’s Ballysax at Leopardstown, and the triple-Group One winner Alice Springs also failed to collect in Sunday’s Gladness Stakes.
Moore eventually got Alice Springs past her market rival Blue De Vega, but both were trumped by the late run of Diamond Fields. The filly was the fifth winner since the start of the turf season for trainer “Fozzy” Stack.
Last year’s Derby runner-up US Army Ranger disappointed again behind the English raider Air Pilot in the Alleged Stakes and Moore drew a blank from his dozen Ballydoyle rides over the two days. There was salt added to the wound when he got a one-day suspension for careless riding in the concluding maiden won by the €2 million purchase Tocco D’amore. She completed a Naas hat-trick for champion jockey, Pat Smullen.