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
Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal: Newcastle full-back undergoes medical ahead of £11 million move - reports
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
Brazil vs Germany match report World Cup 2014: Utter humiliation for hosts as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos help Germany hit seven past Selecao
Pornhub pleads with users to stop uploading videos of Brazil 'getting f**ked by Germany' in World Cup match
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: Heartbreaking photos show home fans reacting to humiliating defeat
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£45-£57k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...
£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...
£36000 - £38000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...
£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...