The Quebec government’s decision to withdraw the additional financial support it was prepared to offer makes life more difficult for racetrack operator Attractions Hippiques but doesn’t scuttle plans for a workable restructuring, said trustee Yves Vincent of RSM Richter
, the company that’s been overseeing Attractions Hippiques’ affairs since it entered creditor protection last June.
The intention is still to present a restructuring plan in Montreal Superior Court on March 9, Vincent said.
“It’s more difficult without $9 million (for purses, from Loto-Quebec), but we have alternatives,” he said. “We still own two tracks (Gatineau and Trois-Rivieres) and have a 25-year lease in Quebec City.”
Races in Montreal, however, aren’t on the menu.
Vincent said they’re simply not viable financially, given the costs and the government’s insistence that Hippodrome de Montreal close.
“We can’t afford it, we can’t build it and we can’t finance it.”
If Quebec horsemen think they can revive racing in Montreal, they’re welcome to the market, Vincent said. “If they want Montreal, they got it. It’s theirs.”
Vincent said senior management at Attractions Hippiques is disappointed by but respects the government’s decision, attributed to the refusal of horsemen and breeders to endorse the plan.
“What it comes down to is, they want to eliminate Paul (Massicotte, owner of Attractions Hippiques),” Vincent said. “They think they’re better managers and businessmen.”
(Trot Insider exclusive by Paul Delean)