The former top trainer has received five-figure libel damages from Oakley and Headline Book Publishing

Jenny Pitman, the former trainer and first woman to saddle a Grand National winner, has received five-figure libel damages following a suggestion that she has not suffered from cancer.

In a passage of the book ‘Valley of the Racehorse’ by former BBC political correspondent Robin Oakley reference was made to trainers being so jealous of Mrs Pitman’s media image and success they suggested she had not suffered from cancer.

Oakley and Headline Book Publishing admitted their error in printing this part of the book and agreed the pay damages to Mrs Pitman and, also to pay her legal costs and to delete the offending passage from unsold copies.

After the court hearing Mrs Pitman said: “I did this for my husband and my two sons. It wasn’t about money, it was about a repulsive statement some people made. I was devastated to read it.”

Half the damages received by Mrs Pitman will be donated to the Royal Marsden Hospital where she was treated.