Sport

Ex Footballer Michael Owen impresses on jockey debut

Updated 1556 GMT (2356 HKT) November 24, 2017
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Michael Owen racing at AscotMichael Owen racing at Ascot
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Michael Owen made his jockey debut in a charity race at Ascot on Friday. John Phillips/Getty Images
The former footballer was riding Calder Prince, trained by Tom Dascombe who is based at Owen's Cheshire stables Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Owen and Calder Prince finished second behind Golden Wedding, ridden by trained vet Tom Chatfield-Roberts in the orange hat. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Owen said: "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." Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Owen was greeted by Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall after the race. Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Owen said: "You never know, I'll probably end up doing it again. I'd probably stick to the charity races because it's great raising money for charities." Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Michael Owen has already established himself as a successful racehorse owner and breeder. Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports Photography
Owen established the Manor House Stables in Cheshire, England in 2007. He and his wife Louise converted it from an old cattle barn and trainer Tom Dascombe has more than 100 horses based there. Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports Photography
Owen was never allowed to get on a horse during his footballing days in case of injury, so he's had to learn to become a jockey in just five months. Here he is getting some advice from retain jockey, Richard Kingscote. Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports Photography
Owen (L) takes to the gallops to practice on board Calder Prince, the grey gelding he will will ride at Ascot. Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports Photography/Simon Stacpoole / Offside
Calder Prince is described by trainer Dascombe as "a lovely horse, a very enthusiastic, very honest and genuine individual who loves being a race horse." Simon Stacpoole/Offside
Dascombe believes that If it was a professional race at Ascot, over seven furlongs, the horse would probably be favorite. Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports Photography
"Calder Prince gives me the best chance of winning, and this was never just about taking part," says Owen. Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports Photography
"Riding sometimes looks easy but having tried it myself I realize that it's just the jockeys making it look straightforward," adds Owen. "It has definitely increased my respect for jockeys." Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports Photography
"Michael's done remarkably well, he's had a couple of tumbles but he's got back up and got on with it," according to Dascombe. Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports
Owen will line up against 10 other riders in the Prince's Countryside Fund Charity race at Ascot. Simon Stacpoole/Offside Sports Photography/Simon Stacpoole / Offside
Owen's stables have had 599 domestic flat race winners and several victories on foreign soil including Brown Panther in the 2015 $1 million Dubai Gold Cup. Warren Little/Getty Images
Owen enjoyed a hugely successful career as a footballer. He was crowned European Footballer of the Year in 2001 when he was a striker at Liverpool, before going on to play for Real Madrid, Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke City. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Owen also played 89 games for England between 1998 and 2008, scoring 40 goals. Ben Radford /Allsport
Owen is not the first sportsman to switch to the saddle. Olympic champion track cyclist Victoria Pendleton entered the Foxhunters Chase at 2016 Cheltenham Festival. Getty Images
Pendleton competed over the jumps and exceeded expectations with a fifth placed finish out of 24 runners. She received a huge cheer from the crowd on Gold Cup day. ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images