Citing "the current unprecedented economic conditions," the Irish Turf Club announced Nov. 5 that it was postponing the redevelopment of the Curragh Racecourse, estimated to cost approximately €100 million.
In a release, the Turf Club said the project, which would be financed by grant aid from Horse Racing Ireland, industry donations, loans and the Turf Club’s own resources,would be kept under review "with a view to reinstating it once economic conditions become more favorable."
Phase one of the project has been completed and the second and major phase was scheduled to begin July 2009.
Nick Wachman, senior steward of the Turf Club, said that the decision had been taken following consultation with the Turf Club’s professional advisors and with with a number of senior people in the racing industry. He said that everyone consulted was in agreement that the best course of action was to postpone the project at this point in time. He added that the project remained a priority for the Turf Club.
“Happily, everyone in Irish racing understands that there is a real need to develop the Curragh in order to create facilities that are commensurate with the world class racing that this wonderful track produces," Wachman said in the release. "We are confident that the project will recommence at an appropriate time. I hope that when the time is right to reinstate the project that everyone will again come on board to deliver a project that we believe is crucial to the future of the Irish racing industry.”
Wachman said the Turf Club would meet to discuss how to handle scheduling of the Curragh racing fixtures for late 2009 that had been reallocated to other tracks due to the scheduled closer of the track for the construtction project.