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.
Latest in Sport
With the top nine players in the men’s world tennis rankings all missing this tournament to prepare ...
by Gareth Purnell
21 May 2013 02:01 AM
When cyclists look back on their careers spanning many hundreds (and in some cases possibly thousand...
by Martin Ayres
20 May 2013 06:12 PM
As England’s new football strip – made by Nike – is revealed today, new research shows the English F...
by Alex Miller
20 May 2013 04:52 PM
Jose Mourinho clear to rejoin Chelsea after Real Madrid confirm exit at end of season
Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
Arsenal considering options as Fiorentina continue to hold-out on Stevan Jovetic
Sam Wallace: As he leaves Real Madrid, make no mistake - Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea will only end in tears
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 X marks the spot: The find that could rewrite Australian history
- 5 'It was just like the movie Twister': Man survives Oklahoma tornado by taking refuge in horse stall
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Excellent Salary Package - £60K to £120K: Austen Lloyd: We have an exciting op...
£200 - £250 per day: Progressive Recruitment: Java Developer - Urgent Requirem...
£70000 - £95000 per annum + Bonus, flexible working hours, remote work: Progre...
£50000 - £56000 per annum + Benefits package, flexible working hours: Progress...