Eoin Morgan, Claudio Pizarro and Other West London Sports Stars That Own Racehorses

Since retiring from football management, Sir Alex Ferguson has perhaps become just as well known for his exploits as a racehorse owner.

A number of high-profile wins have been headlined by Rock of Gibraltar, who landed the prestigious 2,000 Guineas and Prix du Moulin in a showstopping 2002 season.

Ironically, Ferguson and his former friend J.P. McManus fell out over the ownership of the horse, and it’s thought that argument ultimately led to the Irishman selling his share in Manchester United to the Glazer family.

Not to be put off, Ferguson has since invested in Protektorat, a Grade 1 winner from the Dan Skelton yard that is expected to run in the Gold Cup in March. At Cheltenham odds of 25/1 for the Festival’s flagship race, who knows if Sir Alex could yet be celebrating another major sporting victory, although upstart Galopin Des Champs (3/1), defending champion A Plus Tard (4/1) and Allaho (10/1) may yet have something to say about that.

Plenty within the sporting world will be keeping an eye on the Cheltenham results, as a large number of players, managers and pundits have invested in racehorses.

And that includes a large number that have plied their trade in West London, albeit with mixed results.

Eoin Morgan

The Middlesex batsman has captained England to a World Cup victory, so he knows a thing or two about elite performance.

Maybe that’s what inspired him to invest in a share of the racehorse Elysium Dream alongside former England colleagues Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson, and the Flat star did not disappoint the trio.

The Richard Hannon trained filly won at both Newmarket and Brighton, and a number of other high placings saw the horse win more than £93,000 in prize money for her connections.

Claudio Pizarro

Although he didn’t have the most decorated career at Chelsea, it was while in London that Claudio Pizarro developed his love of horse racing.

The former Peruvian striker began to invest in horses, and it wasn’t long before he was enjoying success – arguably more than he did at Stamford Bridge, anyway.

He won the Oh So Sharp Stakes and Michael Seely Memorial on the Flat with his horse Raymi Coya, before an unlikely friendship with Joey Barton saw the pair buy Crying Lightning, who would go on to win a handy Listed Stakes race at Ascot.

Pizarro has since taken his ownership of racehorses global, and he and former Bayern Munich teammate Thomas Muller also own a stallion together. That is named Don Jupp after Jupp Heynckes, the head coach who led Bayern to the treble in 2013.

Joe Cole

He was the mercurial midfielder considered one of the most naturally-gifted players to ever pull on a Chelsea shirt, and Joe Cole has moved into racehorse ownership since hanging up his boots.

His prized asset, Poppanan, won a decent handicap race at Windsor back in 2010, and Cole later admitted he had enjoyed a flutter on his charge.

With plenty of money to be made – the prize for the winner of the Gold Cup exceeds £600,000, it surely won’t be long before other sports stars from West London enter the world of racehorse ownership.