Qatar link to plans for town racing yard

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A significant figure from the political sphere in Qatar has submitted plans to demolish and re-build an existing racing yard in Newmarket.

The applicant, who has remained unnamed at this stage, has sent in proposals to the planning team at Forest Heath District Council to knock down the yard at Rathmoy Stables in Hamilton Road, and replace it with new training facilities, after agreeing a long lease for the site from landowners Jockey Club Estates.

“Our client wants to transform these stables which are in a poor condition into high quality stables capable of attracting high quality horses,” said Keith Warth, of KWA Architects, who are handling the plans.

“Although there are some decent yards in Hamilton Road there are some pretty old ones and our client wants to add some quality there.”

Under the plans it would see the amount of stable boxes increased from 56 to 78, with the construction of two 20 box traditional yards, and two American-style barns.

Also included to be built on the site would be separate accommodation for both the owner, when in the UK, the trainer, and the head lad, along with a covered ride and equine pool.

While not releasing the name of the applicant, Mr Warth confirmed it was neither Sheikh Joaan Al Thaani, backer of Al Shaqab Racing, or Sheikh Fahad Al Thaani, of Qatar Racing, behind the project.

“Although I can’t release who it is, it is neither of those two,” said Mr Warth.

“However, the applicant does already have horses in England and he wants to extend his interest and wants to acquire high quality horses.”

Should the plans get the go-ahead, work is likely to start on the site in spring next year.