Cheltenham Diary: Tindall hopes tackling the French is easier than this

Perhaps this wasn't the best time to approach Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips. It was just after the first race and the England rugby centre had just seen Richard Johnson, his partner's former beau, winning on Copper Bleu – beating his horse in the process.

But surely with the equine connections of the Princess Royal's daughter he would be armed with the inside knowledge to claw his stake back? "I wish," he said. "Sometimes all that knowledge makes it more difficult."

Many were surprised to see Tindall here as he makes his return to the England XV tomorrow in Paris. Did Martin Johnson know he was here? "Yes, it's our day off today, we go to France tomorrow," said the World Cup winner. "Most of the boys have gone home and I suppose I have really, we're so close to our home here."

It may be home but it is not private. As Tindall chatted some 20 photographers trained their lenses on the pair and security men were spotted. Some feel Tindall could do with an escort in the Stade de France when confronting Mathieu Bastareaud, yet he says he is ready for the collision despite playing only three times for Gloucester since being sidelined for four months with an injury. "We've got to go there and give it our best shot. We've nothing to lose."

"Nothing to lose" seemed an apt description for Tindall later as Zara celebrated with the connections of Albertas Run. A winner for Tinds? "Nope," he said. "This must be the first time I haven't backed a Trevor Hemmings' horse. I'm very, very annoyed." Bastareaud had better watch out.

Scarves have the big race wrapped up

There are many ways to choose between Kauto Star and Denman and not all of them involve form or pedigree. How about the poll taken in the stablemates' village of Ditcheat which saw Denman win with 51 per cent of the vote? Or the poll on Racing Post's website (Kauto 66 per cent, Denman 34)? If neither of those convince, what about the sale of scarves in the Cheltenham merchandise stalls? More than 8,000 have been sold, with those knitted in honour of Kauto prevailing by 58 per cent to 42. But maybe that has more to do with Kauto's colours. Green and gold scarves? They'll never catch on.

Michelin man with van

Quote of the week – so far – came from Patrick Daly, the vendor of bacon rolls from a van. Daly's sales pitch has made sure he is short of customers or smiles. "Some people have four Michelin stars," he shouted. "We do better; we've got four Michelin tyres."

Whirlwind fails to gel

Things you see at Cheltenham, part one: Jimmy "Whirlwind" White climbing out of a limo in the car park and asking the driver to open the boot so he could get out his hair gel.

Things you see at Cheltenham, part two: Jimmy White leaving the racecourse with his hair in a mess.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Developer / Mobile Apps / Java / C# / HTML 5 / JS

£17000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Junior Mobile Application Devel...

Recruitment Genius: LGV Driver - Category C or C+E

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national Company that manu...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - OTE £30,000

£13000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Assistant

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?