Filming has started for a drama which the BBC hopes will be as successful as Ballykissangel. Entitled ‘Rough Diamond’, the show will have a slot in the Sunday night viewing schedule this winter and is likely to start in January.

The series details the life of a struggling trainer whose fortunes are turned by a horse, Rough Diamond who is uncontrollable until the return of a long-lost son. Filming, which is taking place in County Kildare will continue for the next month and will include coverage form Irish meetings.

Ayr redevelopment underway

The winners’ enclosure and paddock at Ayr is to be re-sited adjacent to the track around 100 yards past the winning post. The multi-million-pound project, celebrating the racecourse’s centenary next year will mean the winner of next April’s Scottish Grand National will be cheered into a new winner’s enclosure.

The full redevelopment of Ayr is expected to cost around £53 million and involves a retail area featuring a multiplex cinema, casino and 400 houses.

Fallon’s Australia ticket hangs in the balance

Kieren Fallon is expected to hear today whether he will be allowed to ride Yeats in the Melbourne Cup at the beginning of November. Racing Authorities in Australia are considering a report by chief steward Des Gleeson on the jockey but so far no verdict has been cast.

Helen Lewis becomes full time trainer

Helen Lewis has become a full time trainer in Wales after her application was approved last week. Lewis, 39, has the backing of multi-millionaire owner David Walters from whose Cardiff yard she will train from. For the time being, Lewis will be a private trainer but hopes to go public when the license comes up for renewal.

Brave Inca to start defence

Brave Inca is ready to begin the defence of his Champion Hurdle crown at the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown next month. According to trainer Colm Murphy, the eight-year-old has summered well since being defeated by Macs Joy at Punchestown in May.