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Pitman to sue Oakley for claims made in his book.

JENNY PITMAN is to take legal action against journalist Robin Oakley and his publishing company over comments made in his book Valley of the Race Horse.

The former trainer is suing for defamation over a passage in the book-an account of a year in the training centre-which was published last year and has sold more than 6,000 copies in hardback. A paperback version has recently been published.

Pitman is one of racing's most familiar faces thanks to her regular appearances on television and work for charities.

She became the first woman to train the winner of the Grand National when Corbiere won in 1983, and landed a host of other big prizes in her 24 years with a trainer's licence.

Confirmation that a claim for damages as a result of alleged defamation had been made against Oakley and publishers, Hodder Headline, came in a statement issued last night by Leeds-based solicitors McCormick. It said: "We confirm that this is a defamation claim which

must be issued in the High Court, and the claim is likely to exceed pounds 50,000."

Oakley, a former political correspondent for the BBC, is a life-long racing enthusiast who is currently the European correspondent for the international television channel CNN.

Also a former columnist for the Racing Post, he was appointed OBE in the recent Queen's Birthday Honours List.

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Jenny Pitman Claiming defamation
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 26, 2001
Words:231
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