Sir Alex Ferguson Horse Racing

When Football and Horse Racing combine

The popular sports of football and horse racing don’t mix too often, but some ex and current footballers and football managers have been involved in horse racing over the years.

A plethora of sports are immensely popular throughout Britain, two of which are horse racing and football. Both sports have been taking place in this country for 100 years or more. It is not often that these two sporting disciplines combine, but a number of current and ex-football players and managers have become involved in horse racing over the years.

Of course, none of the people in this article have become jockeys, but all of them own and/or train a number of horses. Here, we will look at a number of big names in the football world who have become involved in horse racing, with some having experienced very recently – two, in particular, have just enjoyed wins at the most recent Cheltenham Festival in mid-March 2024.

Sir Alex Ferguson

We start with arguably the best Manager in the history of the Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson. After leaving Aberdeen, the Scot enjoyed a trophy-laden 26 seasons at the helm at Manchester United, where he won no less than 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 10 Community Shields (1 Shared with Liverpool in 1990), 2 UEFA Champions League titles, 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 1 FIFA Club World Cup.

However, in more recent times, Fergie’s desire for success and trophies and transferred over into horse racing. In the past, he won the 2000 Guineas with Rock Of Gibraltar as owner back in 2002. More recently, he had success at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival. He got two wins, both coming on St. Patrick’s Thursday. His first win was with Monmiral in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle before Protektorat then won the Ryanair Chase.

Harry Redknapp

Next up on this list is former West Ham United, Portsmouth, Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers Manager Harry Redknapp. Redknapp is a well-liked figure in football, and one of his major achievements was winning the FA Cup with Portsmouth back in 2008, beating Cardiff City 1 – 0 at Wembley.

As for Horse Racing, he, like Sir Alex Ferguson, experienced success at the most recent Cheltenham Festival back in mid-March 2024. At this year’s festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, Redknapp won a race at the Cheltenham Festival for the first time ever when Shakem Up‘Arry won the 2024 TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase with Jockey Ben Jones on board.

Michael Owen

Michael Owen is best known as a prolific striker who enjoyed prolific spells at the likes of Liverpool, Newcastle United and the England National Team. Thanks to his rapid rise and superb form so early on in his career, Owen won the prestigious Ballon D’Or back in 2001 at the age of just 22. He remains as the most recent English player to win the award, and at the time he was the first player from England to do so since fellow Liverpool legend Kevin Keegan in 1979.

In horse racing, Owen won the 2003 Listed Aphrodite Stakes at Newmarket with Treble Heights, before then winning with Brown Panther in the Irish St. Leger back in 2014. He has also won the Ormonde Stakes, also with Brown Panther in the same year.

A year earlier in 2013, Michael Owen’s Brown Panther had also been the winner of the Goodwood Cup. Then, in 2015, Brown Panther was a winner once again, this time in the 2015 Dubai Gold Cup.

Micky Quinn

We continue with the prolific strikers now, with us now moving on to former Wigan Athletic, Newcastle United and Coventry City forward Micky Quinn. In a total of 524 games at club level, Quinn was able to score no less than 235 goals. He was also Newcastle’s player of the year back in the 1989/90 campaign.

As for horse racing, Micky Quinn has become a prolific horse trainer in Newmarket. Over the years, he has trained several race winners, such as Great Hall, Angus Newz, and Pink Sheets.

Antoine Griezmann

Finally, we now move on to one more prolific forward who is still scoring plenty of goals – 2018 World Cup Winner, Antoine Griezmann. The 33-year-old Frenchman has had prolific spells with the likes of Real Sociedad, FC Barcelona and current club Atletico Madrid. At the time of writing, his goal tally stands at 263 goals and 118 assists to boot in 683 appearances at club level.

In addition to the 2018 World Cup, he has also won the UEFA Europa League (2017/18), the UEFA Super Cup (2018), the Supercopa de Espana (2014), the Copa del Rey (2020/21), and the UEFA Nations League (2020/21).

As for horse racing, Antoine Griezmann won four races at Longchamp, France, back in 2018 as owner of Tornibush. In 2021, his horse Delida won that year’s Hte Pommeraye Maiden Stakes at Chantilly in the just the third start for this horse. More recently on 11th February 2024, Griezmann won the Saonois Polytrack Challenge with Hooking.

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