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The couple's affectionate behaviour sparked a flurry of betting at Cheltenham as bookies took almost as much money on the pair's future as on the racing
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She and Mike - who describes his royal girlfriend as the love of his life - currently share a home on Princess Anne's Gatcombe Estate. The pair have been dating since since 2003
Photo: © Getty Images

Zara and Mike send punters into a spin at Cheltenham

16 MARCH 2007

As a tweed-clad Zara Phillips gazed adoringly into the eyes of her rugby player beau Mike Tindall at Cheltenham race track this week, a flood of bets were being placed on the pair tying the knot.

Despite the activity of the punters, however, Zara has indicated she has no plans to marry any time soon. Speaking last December through a spokesperson, the young equestrian confirmed that although she'd like to get married "it's not on the agenda at the moment".

It seems that, with the evidence of the couple's thriving relationship before their eyes, racegoers at Cheltenham's first ever Ladies Day event couldn't resist a flutter on their future, though. And as the sports-loving duo wandered the racetrack hand-in-hand, the odds on them formalising their relationship were cut in half as the bookies took almost as much money on the pair's future as on the track action.

The pair, who share a cottage on Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park estate, have been to together for three years, after meeting at the Rugby World Cup in Australia in 2003. Since then their relationship has gone from strength to strength, with the current European and world equestrian champion crediting Mike with helping improve her training regime. Meanwhile the England player makes no bones about the affection he feels for his royal girlfriend, describing her as "the love of my life".

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