Michael Owen finishes second on jockey debut at Ascot

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Michael Owen finishes second on jockey debut at Ascot

Former England striker Michael Owen finished second on his debut as a jockey in a charity race at Ascot.

Owen rode Calder Prince over the Prince's Countryside Trust seven-furlong Flat race, finishing behind Tom Chatfeild-Roberts on Golden Wedding.

"I'm home in one piece and had the time of my life," said the 37-year-old.

The former Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid forward breeds and owns racehorses but only got in the saddle for the first time this year.

He lost more than a stone in weight during training and fell from his ride several times in the run up to the race.

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Owen discusses making his debut as a jockey

"I'm really pleased with the whole outcome," Owen, who retired from football in 2013, told BBC Radio 5 live.

"To get home safe and sound, to earn a lot of money for charity and to have an experience like I did - learn a new discipline, lose a bit of weight - I like to think some good has come from it."

"I know everyone was keeping an eye on whether I fell off or did something wrong. It was almost like I was playing in the World Cup quarter-finals again against Brazil, with my phone going mental for a day or two."

Asked whether he will race again, Owen replied: "I absolutely loved it and it does give you the chance to do some good.

"The not eating bit was hard. I've done 20 pounds in 21 days so I'm going to stop off at every service station on the way home and eat everything.

"I enjoyed it enough to say I'd do it again - but I've got four kids, I don't want to hurt myself."

Analysis

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

What a superb performance. He looked the part throughout, putting his horse in just the right position too. Never once did he look as though he was even vaguely wobbling in the saddle.

To do this just a few months after taking up riding is pretty startling.

With just the final quarter-mile to go it looked like he was possibly poised to win - but when push came to shove, the considerably more experience of the winning rider proved decisive.

It's unclear if Owen will do it again, but I'd be surprised if the 'bug' hasn't bitten.

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