Known mostly for his nimble and accurate striking on a football pitch rather than his association with horses, but Michael Owen is also a keen betting man with a stable of race horses and some glory to his name when it comes to the four-legged beasts.
For Owen it’s not all about cars and usual assets typical of rich and famous footballers.
His keen hobby-come-career is now in horse racing. He owns numerous race horses trained by Group 1 winning racehorse trainer Tom Dascombe, who works for Owen’s Manor House Stables in Cheshire.
His most prized horse is Brown Panther, which he bred himself and co-owns, has brought in a good amount of success, and vindicates Owen’s love of the sport and surely alludes to his bright future in it.
It was earlier this year when Owen had a real victory. Brown Panther saw him with a trophy at the Dubai World Cup meeting.
The seven-year-old (horse, not Owen), who is trained by Dascombe and ridden by jockey Richard Kingscote, was in a close race in the two-mile Dubai Gold Cup and finally got ahead of Star Empire with a convincing three and a half lengths.
The horse secured Owen’s biggest win during his racing career, coming first with a prize of £384,000.
This was not a first for Owen’s Brown Panther, but rather the 11th of the race horse’s career.
Owen and his wife, Louise Bonsall, have owned the stables for nine years, with Dascombe keeping check on the training and development of over 80 horses (all thoroughbreds), with 40 staff on site.
That’s some investment, aye. The stables reportedly has its own medical facility, sorses’ version of a swimming pool, and an ice bath to ensure the horses get the best available facilities all round.
The retired star footballers also won the Irish St Leger in 2014 with Brown Panther, with Owen saying afterward: ‘He is the horse of a lifetime and a superstar in my eyes. That was a tough race – two miles in this heat and he kept on galloping like he did in the final furlong.
The former England footballer will make regular appearances on the channel, including punditry roles.
Owen said of Brown Panther: “He is a talented horse but has great courage. I am very proud of him.”
In the year prior to winning the Irish Leger, Brown Panther won the Artemis Goodwood Cup, which was his biggest win at that time.
A proud Owwn said after the race: “I seem to celebrate more at the races than when scoring a goal.”
He also won a major race at Royal Ascot in 2011.
Fancy a bet on the horses? Play through Gambling Deals and earn cashback on your losing bets for life. We protect your bets at thousands of markets via our sports betting partners. Sign up now.