Ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen was no slouch when it came to a foot-race with defenders during his days as a Premier League star.
But the 37-year-old took part in a sprint of a different kind on Friday after making his horse-racing debut.
Owen finished an impressive second in the Prince’s Countryside Fund Charity race, at Ascot, despite only sitting on a race-horse for the first time five months ago.
The former England international has been a breeder of horses for many years, but decided to take to the saddle himself and clearly relished the experience.
“I can’t keep the smile off my face. I was really surprised how quick he went early on. I don’t know what it looked like to the naked eye but it felt like a rate of knots,” said Owen.
“My fella has run over a mile so coming around the final bend I thought he would stay on but he has probably never carried the weight he carried today!
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“I knew everyone was keeping an eye to see whether I fell off or did something wrong. Leg strength is one thing I would say I had but this is a totally different way of using your strength. I was just out-pushed at the end.”