Zara and Mike horse around as bookies slash royal wedding odds

15th March 2007

Zara Phillips, the Queen's grand-daughter, and boyfriend Mike Tindall, Gloucester and England rugby player who enjoyed a 28-16 win over France last weekend in the Six Nations Championship, enjoyed a day out at the races today and were mobbed as they arrived for the third day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The horse-mad princess, 25, arrived at the Gloucestershire races just before lunchtime sporting a beige jacket and carrying a brown leather handbag.

There'll be no horsing around for Queen's grand-daughter Zara as she looks splendid in a beige jacket and carrying a brown leather handbag

The couple soon bumped into their friend Alice Plunkett, presenter of Channel 4 Racing.

Ms Plunkett greeted the princess with a kiss on the cheek but greeted rugby star Tindall by pinching a different kind of cheek.

Race-goers at Cheltenham meanwhile, are convinced the courting couple will be walking up the aisle before very long.

The bookies have been taking almost as much money on a royal wedding between the princess and her rugby-star boyfriend as we are on the racing.

Ladbrokes were 6/1 about Zara and Mike getting married next year - but have been forced to cut the price to 4/1.

Cheeky girl: Channel 4 Racing presenter Alice Plunkett greets giant Mike Tindall with a pinch of his bottom, but she reserves a more lady-like greeting for the princess

They're now offering 10/1 that both they and Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton do the decent thing before next year's out.

Spokesman David Williams said: "The phones have been ringing off the hook back at HQ as punters can't get enough.

"We chalked up 6/1 on Zara and Mike's nuptials but were forced to cut that within just half an hour of trading.

Tindall in action for England against Australia

"We're taking almost as munch money on a royal wedding as we are on the racing.

"The only people who've not had a bet are the Queen, Prince Phillip and the corgies - and it won't be long before they're on too!"

The same firm were forced to close the book on William (Zara's cousin) and Kate tying the knot last week after being knocked over by patriotic punters.

They're now sweating on a sizeable payout on 'the double' in the matrimonial stakes.

Ladbrokes are also offering 50/1 that both couples get married before next year's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

And they are 5,000/1 that one of them holds their wedding reception in the famous course's weighing room!

Last edited by Blackleaf; Mar 15th, 2007 at 01:32 PM..