Saturday 20 July 2019

Rugger buggers and royalty at Cheltenham

Zara Tindall
Zara Tindall
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The last five days have been a blur of jockeys' silks, G&Ts, and ill-fitting tweed waistcoats. I've been in deep in the Cotswolds, trying desperately not to spend too much wedge on bets and booze at Cheltenham Racecourse.

A plethora of celebrities were knocking about the stands, ranging from royalty and rugger buggers to reality-TV starlets.

Zara Tindall, the Duchess of Cornwall, queen of racing-themed erotic novels Jilly Cooper, Katie Price and the ever-so-dashing Allen Leech and Nadia Forde all crowded through the turnstiles.

"It is strange not being part of the Downton crew anymore," Allen said. "Especially this week with Kate Middleton visiting the set. But there are some interesting things coming down the track, so I'm happy out."

Jungle queen Nadia Forde also has plenty to sing about; she's about to star in West End Men - a musical which rehashes the biggest and best standards from show-stopping hit shows.

"I just come out and sing a couple of songs," Forde said. "It all been go since I came back from Australia."

Bookmaker and raconteur, Paddy Power, was in flying form throughout the week and could be seen dashing between boxes. Meanwhile, Charlie McCreevy made the most of his annual mini-break.

"Some people go on sun holidays, some going skiing, I just go to Cheltenham. It's my winter break. It's a hard place to make money but there's no better place for having fun."


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