Cheltenham Diary: Tindall hopes tackling the French is easier than this
Friday 19 March 2010
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.
Latest in Sport
West Ham vs Arsenal match report: Sam Allardyce fumes at referee as Arsenal push on towards top four
Tottenham vs Manchester United match report: Hugo Lloris blocks Manchester United from putting pressure on Premier League title rivals
Liverpool vs Swansea preview: 'Jonjo Shelvey is lazy, he needs to wise up,' says Garry Monk
Arsenal transfer news: William Carvalho to be subject of £20m bid
West Ham 1 Arsenal 2 player ratings: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Andy Carroll? Alexis Sanchez? Who was the star man?
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£17000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Junior Mobile Application Devel...
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national Company that manu...
£13000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...