Liverpool vs Burnley and the Premier League battle taking place with horses at Michael Owen's yard
LIVERPOOL and Burnley are involved in a battle of Premier League proportions off the pitch this summer.
And it's all about the top talent on four legs rather than two.
A post shared by Chris Wood 🇳🇿 (@woodsy39)
That's because five Anfield heroes including skipper Jordan Henderson are taking on Turf Moor's Jack Cork and Chris Wood in horse racing.
And the two have been brought together by Michael Owen, with all the footballers having horses in training at the former Ballon d'Or winner's top-class Manor House Stables.
There, winners such as Mr McCann and Commensensical benefit from the guidance of crack Royal Ascot-winning trainer Tom Dascombe.
A specialist in training runners on the Flat, Dascombe, 48, has dreams of making Manor House the prime destination for up-and-coming sprinters.
And he might just do it thanks to the input of these big-spending top-flight stars.
One horse who has caught the eye is Mr McCann, an impressive winner at Haydock this week at odds of 22-1.
Named after Liverpool's press officer, the horse is owned by Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and former Kop ace Adam Lallana.
Owen explained before the two-year-old's first run at Leicester in June how the lads had been to his yard to check out the £65,000 horse.
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And after coming third on debut, this son of Kodiac has rattled off two victories in quick succession.
But perhaps the greatest satisfaction he has given his famous owners yet is providing Owen with 'one of the most embarrassing moments' of his life.
With Henderson and Co on England duty at the Euros this summer, Owen was their designated representative at Haydock.
The former Newcastle and Manchester United striker promised them he would pull off the Hendo shuffle when collecting the trophy if the horse won.
Mr McCann sure enough romped home by just under three lengths, forcing Owen to show off his fancy footwork in front of the cameras.
Cork and Wood – who along with Cork's wife Freya run More Turf Racing – have seen success with three-year-old Commonsensical.
It's easy to spot one of their horses because the jockeys wear the claret and blue of the Burnley kit.
Commonsensical picked up his first win at Pontefract in April, after two close calls at Haydock and Chester.
Wood and Cork were at York races together in May and the pair have around half a dozen horses between them, with Elakazaam and Breathalyze also promising sorts.
Cork, who started out at Chelsea and has one England cap, told ITV racing about how he developed a passion for the sport.
He said: "I've always been into horses and Chris has always been into them as well.
"We share cars every morning [going to training] and we thought it would be great to find something together near where we live.
"We found a great yard in Tom Dascombe, just outside of Cheshire.
"We started a partnership together and it's been great so far. It's a great thing to have together.
"It was set up so that when we all finish at Burnley we can have something to keep in contact with and stay together.
"It's already proved that with Sam Vokes, who went to Stoke. We speak to him every day, which is odd in football because when you move clubs you tend to stop speaking.
"But it's great to have that connection."
Great to have winners too – and not just in the Premier League.
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