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Racehorse is new pet project for Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips

20 JANUARY 2013

He's said before that he and Zara Phillips would make a sporting dream team and now Mike Tindall has put his money where his mouth is, albeit by accident. The 34-year-old recently purchased his own racehorse which is proving to be a pet project for both him and his Equestrian-minded wife.

In an interview with The Daily Mail rugby star Mike revealed Zara called him an "idiot" after he told her he had bought Monbeg Dude, a racehorse, for £12,000. The Queen's granddaughter was not only bemused because Yorkshire-born Mike had not planned on the outlandish buy, but also because he knew nothing about the horse in question.

 

Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips

 

But, lucky for Mike, his spur-of-the-moment purchase has worked out rather well as Monbeg Dude came out on top at the Welsh Grand National in Chepstow and is now looking towards a potentially successful career.

"I like to bid in auctions without meaning to actually win things" Mike explained. "I only went for a bite to eat and a night out. No horse had gone for less than £28,000 so I thought my first bid of £10,000 was pretty safe, likewise when I upped it to £12,000.

"I knew nothing about the horse," he added, "hadn't checked the brochure and couldn't see the Dude as I was sitting with my back to the sale ring."

 

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall

 

Mike's rugby playing pals, James Simpson Daniel and Nicky Robinson as well as Michael Scudamore, whose father is champion jockey Peter Scudamore, helped Mike by sharing the horse's eventual cost, before the they thought about the logistics of transporting the animal to its new home.

Michael drove the 30-minute distance to his home in Cheltenham to bring a suitable lorry back to the show room where his friends waited.  "I drove home, collected the lorry, drove to Cheltenham, picked up the Dude and took him back to the yard. It was past one in the morning before we were done" he said.

Now, since his triumph at the Welsh Grand National, Montag Dude has caught the attention of expert Zara who won a silver medal for Evening at the London 2012 Olympics.

"Zara will take Monbeg Dude over showjumping poles at home and improve his technique" Mike said. Adding "His next racing outing could be at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March."

 

Mike and Zara



Yet in spite of Montag's promising future, Mike remains aware of his good luck throughout the situation. "The whole thing is ridiculous. We're beginning to dream that we might one day do even better than the Welsh Grand national."

"And it's all because people didn't turn up to a sale night and I took their place with no plans to end the evening as an owner of a horse I knew nothing about, or even saw. You couldn't make it up could you?"

Mike's purchase coincides with reports that the couple, who married in 2011, have sold their classic £1.2 million Georgian house in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and are relocating to a new address in the grounds of Gatcombe Park – Zara's mother's sprawling country pile.

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