A NUMBER of significant developments in Irish racing occurred off the track during a period which was overshadowed by the challenges posed by Britain’s decision to leave the EU (Brexit).
The long-awaited demolition and redevelopment of the Curragh stands commenced in March while the Department of Finance Tax Strategy Group has initiated a formal review of Betting Duty in Ireland. Senior management changes took place in Horse Racing Ireland with Jonathan Mullin and John Osborne both taking up new positions.
Brian Kavanagh stated: “Overall, it is encouraging to see that the increases in the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund since 2014 are now having a positive impact on the ground. Horse Racing Ireland believes that the Fund can be fully financed from Betting Duty and has made a submission to the Tax Strategy Group on this matter. Brexit poses huge challenges for our business which is almost totally integrated with Britain. We are working jointly with our stakeholders and the Irish Government as well as our British and French colleagues to ensure that our mutual concerns are fully taken into account during the Brexit negotiations.
“It is wonderful to see the redevelopment commencing at the Curragh Racecourse, and we have seen some excellent racing there already this season. Everybody looks forward to the completion of the development when the Curragh’s facilities will be brought in line with the quality of the racetrack and the racing that takes place there.”