There seems to be a strong connection with footballers becoming involved in horse racing in some capacity once their careers are over. Many former Liverpool players have ventured into the sport and have had a lot of success.
The city of Liverpool obviously has a strong association with horse racing as the Grand National, the most famous steeplechase in the world, takes place at Aintree.
Here is a look at some of our former players and how horse racing has given them something to cheer about after their playing careers.
Who can forget Michael Owen at his very best in the early stages of his career at Liverpool? The England striker scored over 150 goals for the Reds and was a firm fans favourite at the time. He won the UEFA Cup, League Cup on two occasions, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup during his time at Anfield.
Owen has always had a love for horses, as he revealed in his autobiography. Rather than just buy a few of them, the former Liverpool man built a stable and training complex. He has over 40 horses in Manor House Stables, all of whom are trained by Tom Dascombe.
One of the best days Owen has had so far in the sport came in 2011 when Brown Panther won the King George V Stakes, one of the leading race at Royal Ascot. The victory left him in tears afterwards as this was a horse he bred and owned.
Not only has Owen got involved in the sport through ownership, but he has also ridden in a charity race. He is clearly very handy in the saddle as he finished second in the Prince’s Countryside Fund charity race at Ascot.
The next step in racing for Owen could be to apply for a trainer’s licence. He would not be the first ex-footballer to do so. Former England striker Mick Channon has done very well as a trainer. He is set to saddle Mister Whitaker at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival next month where he has Cheltenham races odds of 33/1 for the Brown Advisory Plate. Owen may see what Channon has achieved in the sport and have a go himself in the near future.
Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman
Former teammates Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman have owned a large number of horses together under their company, the Macca and Growler Partnership. The pair have been just as successful in business as they were on the field.
One of the best horses the duo owned was a chaser called Seebald. Trained by the great Martin Pipe, he finished second behind Moscow Flyer in the Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival in 2002. He went on to become a three-time Grade Two winner and gave them an of success on the track.
Fowler and McManaman bought a lot of their horses from Germany and that proved to be a wise move. Their silks have been carried at many of the leading National Hunt racecourses, including the Grand National meeting at Aintree.
Defender Glen Johnson was a mobile full-back during his stint at Anfield and in Encore D’Ore he owns a very talented sprinter on the track.
The nine-year-old gelding, who is trained by the expert trainer of sprint horses, Robert Cowell, has won 11 races under rules, including the Scarborough Stakes at Doncaster, a Listed contest over five furlongs.
Johnson was regularly seen at Aintree during his spell at Liverpool. He is clearly a big horse racing fan and after the success Encore D’Or has had, it would be no surprise to see him invest in more horses going forward.
Good luck to all of our former players who have horses in training at the moment. Hopefully, they can hit the back of the net the next time they are in action.