Michael Owen "excited and nervous" on eve of jockey debut at Ascot
The former Liverpool, Newcastle, Real Madrid and Manchester United striker is well-known as a keen horse racing lover, but is now taking to the saddle having trained since the summer.
England's former goal-getter will be making his jockey debut at Ascot on Friday for the seven-furlong Prince's Countryside Fund charity event, where he will be riding four-year-old Calder Prince – a winner from four of his 27 starts.
The 37-year-old Owen has had to lose over a stone in weight for the race, and will be competing against nine others – including leading race horse owner Sheikh Fahad.
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Speaking ahead of his big day, Owen has mixed emotions.
"As the race gets closer I'm getting both nervous and excited about it," he told Racing UK. "It's been a massive learning curve for me and having thought initially that this would be quite easy, I've come to the realisation that that couldn't be any further from the truth.
"From riding out in the morning, to being thrown off and then galloping on a racecourse, it's been a fantastic few months.
"I've had success as an owner at Ascot, but this will be a completely different experience and I can't wait."
Owen is racing for multiple charities. You can donate to his JustGiving page here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MichaelOwen10