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Racing: Fairy-tale ending for Irish track; HRI BAIL COURSE OUT.


HORSE Racing Ireland has stepped in to bail Fairyhouse racecourse out of its financial difficulties.

The Meath track will become a subsidiary of HRI Racecourses Ltd in a move ratified by the Board of HRI yesterday and accepted by the directors of Fairyhouse last week.

In the deal, Fairyhouse Club Ltd will issue Ordinary Shares to HRI Racecourses Ltd to implement the conversion of 'Secured Redeemable Debenture Stock' held by HRI.

New financial and and operational strustures will be put in place to more effectively secure the future of Fairyhouse as a racecourse and establish a basis for its continued development.

Fairyhouse, which stages 19 meetings a year, has experienced difficult times, attributed to "the loss of of significant non-racing revenues". And a proposed hotel development on Fairyhouse lands has failed to materialise.

These events have left Fairyhouse in serious financial difficulties, unable to to meet capital and loan repayments.

This news comes only weeks after HRI's green light for the new all-weather track in Dundalk and is further evidence of the apparent bottomless pit of finance currently available to Irish racing.

Meanwhile, John Oxx, who leaves this morning for New York where he'll saddle Azamour in the Breeders Cup Turf at Belmont on Saturday, recorded a fine treble with Lifetime Romance, Artist's Muse and Redstone Dancer at the Curragh yesterday.

And, keeping the Breeders Cup link, Lifetime Romance, debut winner of the opening maiden under former stable-jockey Johnny Murtagh, is a grand-daughter of Ridgewood Pearl, the Breeders Cup Mile heroine for Oxx back in 1995.

Oxx said of the winner, "She's out of a daughter of Ridgewood Pearl and had been working well. I didn't know she'd handle that ground."

In completing Oxx's double, Artist's Muse, which will be sold at Goffs on Friday, provided last year's champion apprentice Cathy Gannon with her 15th winner of the season.


RESCUED: Horse Racing Ireland has saved Fairyhouse
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 25, 2005
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