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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Benjamin Goddard

Zara Tindall hopes King Charles attends Cheltenham Festival for first time in 17 years

Zara Tindall hopes that King Charles III will attend Cheltenham Festival in two week's time when he has a 16-1 shot in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle on March 16.

King Charles has not attended the Festival for 17 years although has been to both Ascot and Epsom in recent years. The Tindall family are heavily involved in the Cheltenham Festival with Zara, the daughter of Princess Anne, a committee member at the racecourse while her husband and former England rugby player Mike has a hospitality venture at the venue.

Zara has had a successful equestrian career and was part of the Great Britain team that won silver at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Tindall hopes that King Charles will attend, which she says wold be 'great for the future' of jumps racing following the death of Queen Elizabeth II who was a racing fanatic.

Zara told Sun Racing: "I think with Steal A March it would be great to see Charles and Camilla back at Cheltenham. Having the involvement and having the runner here would be great for the future too.

"We'll see what happens - it's a changing of the times."

Zara Tindall with her arm around King Charles at Royal Ascot last year (Jonathan Buckmaster)

Will Steal A March win the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section

The Tindall family have had success themselves with horse ownership as Monbeg Dude finished third in the 2015 Grand National earning them £100,000.

Steal A March has a special place in Royal hearts after winning a race at Worcester on the weekend of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The eight-year-old, who was bred by Queen Elizabeth II, also won at Wincanton on Boxing Day, his most recent start.

King Charles III has had a host of winners since he inherited the Queen's race horse collection in September last year. The King has shown a keen interest in their exploits despite cutting back on the numbers he owns.

Horse racing trainer Nicky Henderson (Getty Images)

Trainer Nicky Henderson, who looked after all the late Queen's horses over jumps, believes that Steal A March has chance of winning the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle first-place prize of £56,270.

"He won at Worcester on Derby Day last year, which was very special as it was on Jubilee weekend," said Henderson about the eight-year-old.

"We were all trying to get winners that weekend for The Queen. The Queen Consort has had horses of her own before, but I think he was The King’s first jumps winner. He’s improved a fair bit all of a sudden.

"We’ve got quite a strong team for the race to be fair, but I was impressed with Steal A March the last time. It would be nice to have him run - it would be very nice to have him win of course – but it would be lovely if they could come to watch. It would be good for racing."

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