Gerard Magee Former Chairman of The Curragh, Barbara Fitzgerald, Lester Piggott and Áine Mangan, CEO of Kildare Fáilte
World renowned Lester Piggott who won Ireland's greatest races five times at The Curragh -The Minstrel (1977) Meadow Court (1965), Ribocco (1967), Ribero (1968) and the great Shergar (1981), attended the long awaited opening of the long-awaited newly developed Curragh RaceCourse today.
The centrepiece of the redeveloped racecourse is The Aga Khan Stand which can cater for up to 6,000 people over four levels.
Pádraig McManus, Chairman of the Curragh Racecourse said:“Today is a significant milestone not just for the Curragh Racecourse but for the entire racing industry and the county of Kildare. We have upgraded and renovated our racing and training facilities to create a new Centre of Excellence. We are delighted that we now have the facilities for our racegoers that match our world-class race track.”
The multi million euro redevelopment includes the spectacular new The Aga Khan Stand, refurbished stable yards and parade ring and facilities including conference capabilities and restaurants. In addition, the gallops which are located across the Curragh plains have also been upgraded. The Aga Khan Stand’s striking 7,000 square metre roof can be seen from across the Curragh and provides valuable shelter for racegoers during inclement weather. There is also spectacular in-door and sheltered vantage points looking straight onto the track. The historic Queen’s Room, which was relocated as a standalone feature and reassembled block by block from the old stand, is a stunning feature that overlooks the large parade ring.
Commenting on the opening, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:“The Curragh has always played an important part in the story of our country and, thanks to this new development, we can be confident that it will play an important role in our future as well.”
The stand’s 7,000 square metre roof contains 1,400 tonnes of structural steel, 8,900 tonnes of precast concrete and 4,300 square metres of glazing. There are four floors with the first two floors including a café, food court, bars and tote facilities. Level three and four have a variety of bars, restaurants and hospitality suites.
The Curragh Racecourse will host 14 more race meetings this year with the Dubai Duty Free Derby Festival taking place from May 27 to 29.