Say what you want about Michael Owen (and it’ll probably be fair enough, especially if it’s a bit mean), but the man can ride a horse.
The former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle and Manchester United striker, 37, has traded his helicopter for horses since retiring in 2013, and he made his jockeying debut in an amateur charity race today, managing an impressive second place finish.
Owen briefly scraped ahead, but ultimately fell behind Tom Chatfield-Roberts’ Golden Wedding in the furlong contest, in aid of the Prince’s Countryside Trust.
Owen commented to the Mail Online: “The horse was great and I’m really pleased with how it’s gone. I can’t keep the smile off my face, I loved it.
“They seemed to go really quick, it was the fastest I’ve ever been on a horse, but the horse slowed into the back and whipped up on the inside and all of a sudden I was in front – I was thinking ‘come on now’. But that was a long way (out) and I got very tired in the last furlong.”
“It was such good fun and I’m really pleased with the whole outcome. My horse ran a cracking race and I’m delighted to be second. I’d like to think plenty of good will come out of it, lots of money raised for charity.
“We’re all home in one piece and I had the time of my life.”
Will Owen ride once more? Maybe!
“I’ve had messages from the likes of Frankie (Dettori), Tony McCoy, Barry Geraghty and Ruby Walsh. Everyone was wishing me well.
“It was almost like playing in the World Cup quarter-final against Brazil when your phone goes mental for a day or two with hundreds of texts. I think my phone is cooling down somewhere.