Better than scoring, Michael? Ex-Liverpool and England star Owen is fist-pumping and beaming with joy as his horse Zoffee wins the Chester Cup on September 1 at the meeting he holds most dear.

Michael Owen won the Ballon d’Or and a host of major honours, lit up the World Cup and was recognized as one of the best strikers in English football.

All of which he can be proud of, but the smile that lit up his face on Thursday was comparable to any big day in his illustrious career.

Owen, owner of Manor House Stables and a racing devotee, realized a life’s ambition when Zoffee won the 200th running of the Chester Cup.

Chester in May is a meeting that consumes Owen.

He is constantly thinking about it, constantly looking for horses that have the potential to be successful on the track and it all paid off spectacularly here as Zoffee came up with a thunderous ride under young jockey Harry Davies.

Former Liverpool and England star Michael Owen beamed with pride after Zoffee’s Chester Cup triumph

The 44-year-old (second from left) posed alongside jockey Harry Davies (third from left) after the race.

The 44-year-old (second from left) posed alongside jockey Harry Davies (third from left) after the race.

Owen described Manor House Stables as his

Owen described Manor House Stables as his «pride and joy» after the win

Zoffee finished second in the Chester Cup 12 months ago and has come over hurdles in the winter, but trainer Hugo Palmer has carefully prepared him for this historic contest, justifying the stable’s confidence at odds of 9/1.

Owen has shares in many horses at Manor House – one of them, Box To Box, was dramatically beaten in a photo finish in the third race of the day – but he has nothing to do with the ownership of Zoffee, the eight-cylinder. yearling belonging to Alan Peterson. None of that mattered.

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«They are all my horses!» Owen was beaming. «That’s unbelievable. The Manor House is my pride and joy. I’m taking it step by step to make it as big as it can be.

«This race has always been the main one. We mainly train speed horses and have a really small stock of horses for this event.

“But Hugo is very good at training steady horses. I said at the beginning of the week that Zoffee was our big one for the week. I asked him about our chances and he replied: «We will win the Chester Cup.» I can’t believe we did it.

«I throw my heart, my soul, my life into it. When I’m not on TV talking rubbish about football, I spend every second in my stables. I watch every horse, every day, go into a gallop. You cannot understand what this means to me.’

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