Former England star Owen finishes second on horse racing debut

He burst onto the scene with a wonder goal at the 1998 World Cup, but Michael Owen also had "the time of his life" on his racing debut.

Michael Owen was thrilled with his second-place finish after making his horse racing debut in a charity event at Ascot on Friday.

The former England, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United striker retired from football in 2013 and has long held an interest in racing, breeding and owning horses out of his stables in Cheshire.

But this time it was his turn to take to the saddle on Calder Prince, in an event staged to raise funds for the Prince's Countryside Trust.

Owen was one of 10 amateur riders to take part and led towards the end of the seven-furlong race but was eventually overhauled by Golden Wedding.

"The horse was great and I'm really pleased with how it's gone. I can't keep the smile off my face, I loved it," Owen said.

"They seemed to go really quick, it was the fastest I've ever been on a horse, but the horse slowed into the back and whipped up on the inside and all of a sudden I was in front - I was thinking 'come on now'.

"But that was a long way [out] and I got very tired in the last furlong. It was such good fun and I'm really pleased with the whole outcome. My horse ran a cracking race and I'm delighted to be second.

"I'd like to think plenty of good will come out of it, lots of money raised for charity. We're all home in one piece and I had the time of my life."

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