Horse racing is largely known as the sport of the kings, with the rich and famous owning the equine stars.
That means it will come as no surprise that footballers and managers have all dropped money into the sport throughout its history. Since it’s almost Kentucky Derby time again, let’s check what footballers are into horse racing.
Some have had greater success than others, but who are some of the star names that he delved into the world of horse racing?
Michael Owen was revered as one of the most prolific strikers during the prime years of his career and played for some of the world’s biggest clubs, including Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United. However, it could be argued that horse racing is now his main love following his retirement, as he owns the illustrious Manor House Stables.
It was previously the training base for Tom Dascombe, before Owen made the decision to end their 12-year partnership earlier this year. The most famous winning horse that he part-owned was Brown Panther. He won the Dubai World Cup in 2015, as well as the Irish St Leger.
Sir Alex Ferguson
For many, the greatest manager that ever lived, Sir Alex Ferguson has also been involved in horse racing throughout his career. So much so, that his position as manager of Manchester United was brought into question due to his involvement with the sport. Last year, the legendary manager enjoyed one of his best days on Merseyside ever, as he celebrated a famous treble on the opening day of the Aintree Festival.
The unlikely achievement was capped by Clan Des Obeaux, who captured the Betway Bowl. Fergie later revealed that this was his best day in racing, and very few owners have had the privilege of watching their horses win three Grade 1 races on the same day.
It could yet still be a very successful season on the pitch for Liverpool, as Jordan Henderson could win the Premier League for the second time. However, in the summer of last year, Henderson and a number of his Liverpool teammates had their sights set on domination on the track. The current Reds captain, alongside teammates Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all became first-time race horse owners last year.
Their horse is called Mr McCann and is trained by Tom Dascombe. To date, he has won three times in seven attempts under rules. Mr McCann ended last season on a high, as he gave the Liverpool stars a big winner at Epsom as he captured the Cazoo Derby ‘Wild Card’ EBF Conditions Stakes. The three-year-old could have a big season ahead with the Epsom Derby sneaking into sight.
Steve McManaman & Robbie Fowler
There must be something in the water on Merseyside, as the current Liverpool stars aren’t the only Anfield giants that have had success on the track. Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler have had a successful time in horse racing since forming the company, the Macca and Growler Partnership.
Their most successful horse was Seebald, trained by Martin Pipe. The National hunt horse won 15 races in 55 attempts under rules and was a regular runner at both the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National Festival.
However, the closest that the horse came to a win at the Cheltenham Festival was in the Arkle when he finished second behind Moscow Flyer. Seebald’s biggest win on track came at Sandown in April 2003, as he held off a challenge from Cenkos to win the Queen Mother Celebration Chase with A P McCoy on board.
The footballers also enjoyed success with Samon, who won the five races from eleven attempts under rules.