Michael Owen makes horse racing debut
From Anfield to Ascot, the former footballer finishes second
Former Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen today made his debut as a jockey at Ascot.
Owen, who had “never even sat on a horse before agreeing to take part”, according to the Daily Express, took part in the seven-furlong Prince’s Countryside Fund race this afternoon, finishing second aboard Calder Prince.
Owen took part in order to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK, Alder Hey Children's Hospital and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, and had spoken before the race about his nerves.
“As the race gets closer I'm getting both nervous and excited about it,” Owen had told Racing UK earlier in the week. “It's been a massive learning curve for me and having thought initially that this would be quite easy, I've come to the realisation that that couldn't be any further from the truth.”
His trainer, Tom Dascombe, said he had “come a long way in a short space of time, having gone from never having ridden a horse to riding at one of the best venues in the world”.
Owen reportedly needed to lose nearly two stone in order to fall under the maximum weight.
Twitter users reacted with confusion and amusement to the announcement and today’s race:
Some complained that his technique was poor:
But others were more complimentary: