Rough Diamond delayed

Rough Diamond, the new BBC1 series focusing on the racing industry, will not debut on 28 January as planned in order to prevent a clash with the final of Celebrity Big Brother.

The BBC hopes the new drama will enjoy similar success to Ballykissangel but did not want to jeopardise its chances by screening it at the same time as the increasingly popular Celebrity Big Brother.

Since the race row surrounding Bollywood acrtress Shilpa Shetty broke out earlier this week, Celebrity Big Brother’s viewing figures have increased to 5.7 million. As a result the six-part racing drama Rough Diamond will now start on 4 February.

Racing blown away

Thursday’s storms put a stop to racing across Britain, as 99 mph gusts devastated the countryside. Jockeys at Wolverhampton were prepared to attempt the first race but as they made their way to the start their mounts became uncontrollable and officials decided it would be dangerous to continue. Racing at Ludlow was also abandoned, as was the fixture at Taunton.

Well Chief is well again

Well Chief is on target to make a reappearance in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury next month, having missed the whole of last season with leg problems. Connections have been encouraged by his progress at home, believing he could prove a strong challenge in the Queen Mother Champion Chase later in the season.

Beginner jockeys to race at Aintree

Armchair jockeys will have the chance to prove their ability and earn at least £5,000 for charity at the John Smith’s People’s Race, held on Grand National Day (14 April).

A panel of racing experts will select 10 wannabe riders to undergo an intensive 16-day training programme in preparation for the John Smith’s race in front of more than 70,000 spectators at Aintree and millions of BBC viewers.

Each jockey will earn £5,000 for their chosen charity, with the winner earning his charity a further £50,000. As compensation for the hard work, the winner will also receive a five-star trip to Dubai for the 2008 World Cup.

Applications close on January 19th. Details and entry forms are available from Ladbrokes Betting Shops or at Postal applications can be sent to the John Smith’s People’s Race, Third Floor, 8-10 Lower James Street, London, W1F 9EL.