TVB is playing hardball with the Jockey Club and the chances of local racing being screened on public television next season are receding. Hong Kong's most popular television station has totted up the bill for its commitments over the two-year contract period with the Jockey Club and the final tally is around $20 million, which includes a rights fee of $9 million. Ironically, that $20 million figure is the one most often mentioned when talk centres on how much the Macau Jockey Club pays ATV to show its racing year-round. A high-level TVB source said yesterday that chances were now very slim for a continuation of racing telecasts next season. Forget the rights fee - there seems no chance of that at all. What is more likely to make high-level Jockey Club management choke on their cornflakes is the suggestion that TVB be paid to show local racing. From TVB's viewpoint, it is purely a commercial decision. Now surely the bottom line is something the top men at Sports Road understand. It might not fall into the category of a fairytale ending but there were plenty of genuine cheers and goodwill around when Danny Lee rode his first winner of the season in what will be his final season in the saddle. Fittingly enough, success in the fifth event at Sha Tin yesterday came aboard Charity First, who has been a regular Lee ride since first arriving in Hong Kong. Owner Jimmy Cheung Ying-kit can be duly commended for loyalty and Lee for perseverance. Lee announced his retirement at the end of the season some time ago and it is probably only those with longer memories who can recall his days as an apprentice with the legendary George Moore. There have been good times and rough along the way but Lee wasn't complaining yesterday. 'I am very happy but I did not really think I would win with Charity First today. He got in here because he was due to run in the meeting that was abandoned,' he said. 'I can only say that the slightly easier class had something to do with it but I did not think we would win and certainly not like that. 'Maybe I am not quite finished yet. I'm hoping there might one on Wednesday and another before the end of the season.' It was Lee's 85th ride of the season and his only one on the card. Chefs of the Jockey Club were awarded 24 medals at a recent international Culinary Classic - a singular achievement by all accounts. The knowledge that their food is in such accomplished hands may make it easier for patrons of the many Club boxes on course at Sha Tin and Happy Valley to cough up the money to pay for the privilege of dining there. Complaints about prices charged by the Jockey Club have rained in since the start of the season. Those truly outraged have also complained about the quality and the sameness of the food which, in the light of the seven golds, 10 silvers and seven bronzes recently achieved, seems surprising. Then again, I'm not eating it - or, probably more importantly, paying for it. An interesting experiment might be to have those patrons of the many Club boxes actually fill in a questionnaire about cost, service and quality. But let's not be churlish - cheers to the chefs who did the Jockey Club proud. They won their medals in the face of competition from 1,400 companies from 30 different countries. Worthy charity Camp Quality has benefited hugely from the popularity of champion Southern Hemisphere sire Zabeel - and prominent local owner Mike Bastion. Highlight of a fund-raising ball for the charity for cancer-stricken children was the auctioning off of a service to Zabeel, who stands at the Cambridge Stud of Patrick Hogan. Zabeel's book is full for the coming covering season but one final service was given to Camp Quality and sold to Bastion for a stunning $1.5 million. The stallion stands in New Zealand at a third of that figure. Bastion fought off the challenge of shipping magnate Joseph Chow with other interested runners dropping out when bidding passed the $1 million mark. Bastion was happy to be involved and said: 'The way the yearling market is going Down Under, it might not have been a bad move anyway. Besides, Camp Quality does an excellent job with the children.' When final receipts for the gala evening are totted up, the ball will have raised in excess of $3 million. Other prime supporters were Piaget and local equine artist Circle Lo, whose collection of Kentucky Derby paintings went for $130,000. Talk about rubbing it in. French superstar Olivier Peslier arrived at the Curragh on Saturday minus his riding gear which had gone adrift in transit. He borrowed a pair of riding britches from Michael Kinane with the name of the Irish ace stitched across the waistband. An hour later, Peslier crossed the line the winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas on Saffron Waldren. Kinane finished third on the more fancied of the two Aidan O'Brien runners, Orpen.