Fame and fillies: Meet the celebrity racehorse owners

Story highlights

  • Big names in Hollywood are investing in racehorses
  • Royalty is among the most prolific owners and trainers
  • Soccer club Manchester United has strong links with racing
  • Even 1990s pop icon MC Hammer invested in the sport

As more and more celebrities sign up for a day at the races, a growing list are taking their passion for the sport one step further and becoming racehorse owners.

From Hollywood directors such as Steven Spielberg to English Premier League soccer stars like Wayne Rooney, the lure of playing a bigger part in race day has led to many putting money into the development of one particular horse or even into the breeding of a whole group.

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has a stud farm in the Republic of Ireland and even 1990s pop icon MC Hammer has been the proud owner of a Kentucky Derby entrant.

Royalty dominates the list of celebrity successes on the track, with the United Arab Emirates-based Godolphin stable owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum turning out 200 winners a year, netting nearly $17 million in prize funds.

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And while other celebrity owners are not as prolific in the winning stakes, many do see it as a future business and a serious investment of their time and money.

English soccer player Michael Owen is already co-owner in a stable which has trained many UK race winners -- including those owned by his former Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney. United's manager Alex Ferguson is also a racehorse owner.

A former top-flight English footballer, Mick Channon, is now more renowned for training horses than he is for his achievements in a Southampton and England football shirt.

Take a look at the gallery above to learn more about horse racing's celebrity owners.

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