Racing round-up

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  • Racing ahead in the dating game
    The notion of speed at Goodwood racecourse takes on an entirely different guise on Saturday, when the evening racing is complemented by speed-dating.

    Punters can get the evening off to a good start by indulging in a series of three minute dates in Goodwood’s exquisite setting.

    The event, labelled Romance at the Races also offers race-goers the chance to win a “romantic break for two” in Morocco.

    Meanwhile, the name Jilly Cooper brings to mind an altogether different kind of filly, but the novelist renowned for her raunchy storylines will be on hand to present prizes for a race named in her honour, the Jilly Cooper OBE Fillies’ Stakes.

    Rod Fabricius, managing director of Goodwood, is excited by the new opportunities on offer: “We are always keen to welcome new faces through the gates and hopefully the plethora and variation of activities on offer will mean that many more people will get a taste of what Goodwood has to offer”

  • All those interested must book in advance, at www.rapidromance.co.uk. Or for more information, tel:08709 501 121.

    Jockey title up for grabs

    In recent years, the outcome of Flat Racing’s jockey championship has been a foregone conclusion, with Kieren Fallon racing ahead of his nearest rivals early in the season and widening the gap through the summer months of evening racing.

    This year, however, even Fallon claims that he relishes the prospect of a fight, saying that things had got a little “boring.” Which is lucky, since Frankie Dettori (pictured) overtook the defending champion last week, with a four-timer at Kempton.

    Dettori and third-placed Seb Sanders were able to take advantage of a four-day ban imposed on Fallon at the end of last week to make up the deficit and overtake the Irishman, who has dominated the championship since 1997.

    Fallon currently stands two behind Dettori on 109, while Seb Sanders is breathing down their necks with 105. Both Dettori and Sanders had plenty of rides lined up both for the afternoon and evening, and this particular title race looks as if it could turn into a bit of a brawl.

    Ouija Board on Flying Form for Yorkshire

    English and Irish Oaks winner Ouija Board has impressed connections ahead of her participation in the Yorkshire Oaks next Wednesday, when she bids for her third Group 1 success, and her fourth consecutive win of the season.

    The three-year-old filly is as yet unbeaten this season, and has won a particular place in her owner, Lord Derby’s heart, as she is the only horse he has in training. She will be partnered by Kieren Fallon as they do battle with the likes of Punctilious and All too Beautiful, both of whom she beat at the Curragh and at Epsom

    Racing Media Rights feud re-erupts

    Racing’s media rights battle, which seemed to have abated somewhat over the last few months, has been reignited this week.

    Attheraces (ATR), the Sky-backed racing channel, has issued high court proceedings in a bid to recover more than £50m rebates from the 30 UK racecourses which signed up to ATR’s rival channel, Racing UK.

    Racing UK enjoys the support of the Racecourse Holdings Trust, including such courses as Cheltenham, Aintree, Goodwood and Sandown, and the RHT has stressed that it will mount a “robust defence”.

    Meanwhile, Racing UK, which has maintained from the outset that it would eventually become a subscription-only channel, has set a date: from 1 October, viewers are expected to have to pay between £20-25 a month for the privilege.

    The channel is in uproar over a decision made by the BHB which has reduced to ashes a potential deal between Racing UK and the betting exchange Betfair, believed to be worth a seven-figure sum, which could have allowed it to remain free-to air.

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