€460m complex 'would attract top racing events'
THE multi-million euro Breeders' Cup racing fixture could leave the United States and come to Ireland if a planned sporting and leisure complex gets the go-ahead, champion trainer Aidan O'Brien said yesterday.
Mr O'Brien and his wife Anne-Marie yesterday voiced their support for the €460m "Tipperary Venue", which would incorporate a hotel/casino, racing track and 15,000-capacity indoor entertainment venue.
The couple made a submission on the second day of an oral hearing being held by An Bord Pleanala into plans by businessman Richard Quirke to develop the multi-faceted project on an 800-acre site at Two-Mile-Borris outside Thurles.
The O'Briens said that the organisers of the Breeders' Cup had expressed an interest in staging the two-day fixture in Europe.
Ms O'Brien said: "The Tipperary Venue will be the first European track capable of hosting a Breeders' Cup meeting."
She said the development would be a sustainable and environmentally friendly addition to Irish horseracing."
Mr Quirke wants to build a hotel and casino, golf course, greyhound racing circuit and equestrian centre, as well as turf and all-weather horseracing tracks on his site.
The project secured planning permission from North Tipperary County Council last October. However, following appeals by some local residents and An Taisce, An Bord Pleanala decided to hold a public hearing.
The hearing continues today.