Thursday 25 April 2019

Treasury reins in top names for racetracks plan

Tom Lyons

TREASURY Holdings has set up a special division to develop world class horse racetracks in Europe. The property development group, which is led by John Ronan and Richard Barrett, has the backing of a number of international horse-racing industry heavyweights in the venture called International Racetrack Developments (IRD).

TREASURY Holdings has set up a special division to develop world class horse racetracks in Europe.

The property development group, which is led by John Ronan and Richard Barrett, has the backing of a number of international horse-racing industry heavyweights in the venture called International Racetrack Developments (IRD). These include a former top executive for Sheikh Mohammed, and one of the best known names in Irish horse racing, Michael Osbourne.

The Treasury-led company is holding ongoing high-level talks both at government and private investor level in at least three locations, informed sources told the Irish Independent. These are thought to include potential projects in Britain, continental European states and significantly, in European municipalities. IRD is not seriously looking either at Ireland or beyond Europe at this time.

The company has pursued a low profile negotiating strategy using its network of well-placed horse racing figures, since it was set up three years ago.

It plans to combine Treasury's development experience with the horse-racing contacts and know-how of its partners.

Michael Osbourne, who is chairman of the prestigious World Racing Championships this year, is on the board of IRD.

A respected veterinarian, Mr Osbourne has held positions at the top of racing's administrative bodies, including the Turf Club, Jockey Club and Horse Racing Ireland.

He also has led Sheikh Mohammed's stud farm interests in Ireland and is chairman of Goffs Bloodstock Sales Company.

David Tyndall, chief operations officer with Treasury, also plays a central role in IRD.

Mr Tyndall spent 15 years as group finance director with the Pegasi Group which represents a host of Sheikh Mohammed's interests.

Working with the Sheikh, he gained vast experience of the horse racing industry as well as property development, including at one stage sitting on the board of The Racing Post.

A number of other major industry figures could also be involved.

Solicitor Rory Williams, a director of Treasury and former partner with Arthur Cox, is also listed as a director of IRD, according to the UK Companies Office.

The presence of so many Irish business and racing figures on the board of the IRD could give a big boost to Ireland's horse breeding and training industry, if it is successful, by creating more demand for their services in Europe.

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