MICHAEL OWEN dashed back from Liverpool's Champions League win in Spain to cheer on a winner at Chester.
Well-backed Ever Given scooted clear to win by six lengths and hand Owen and his new trainer Hugo Palmer a first winner together at the Roodee.
The former England ace had to leave his hotel in Spain at 3am to make his early morning flight back home to the north-west.
Owen was part of BT Sport's coverage of the Liverpool versus Villarreal clash but was desperate to get back for his beloved May Festival at Chester.
Owen's Manor House Stables are a short trip from the track and his Ever Given was backed into 13-8 like defeat was out of the question.
Owen said: "My alarm went at 3.30am, I had to fly to Charles De Gaulle as if I'd flown direct it wasn't getting me here until 1pm and I'd have missed the first couple of races.
"I'll be knackered in a couple of hours but I'm all right now. We've Mr McCann running tomorrow too.
"We came here with low expectations as Hugo is still getting to know the horses but to get one on the board and in that fashion, we're delighted," said Owen.
"He had a nice draw and Danny Tudhope kept it simple, so off top weight that's a nice performance.
"It's great to get off the mark here so early but I've not employed a kid, I've employed someone who has been there and done it. This is for the long-term, however, to have the start we've had is super."
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Owen will be back at Chester on Thursday when Mr McCann puts his Derby credentials on the line.
The horse is owned by Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Milner, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson.
Owen added: "Obviously the Liverpool lads have had other things on their minds of late, but they have been down the yard to see him recently. I do know that when I was a playing racing was a big release.
"Now the game is over I'm sure they'll be tuning in, but with the games coming thick and fast, it's inevitable they can't get to the racedays. They have been down to the yard a couple of times and seem like they are enjoying it.
"Just to have a runner in a race like the Dee Stakes with your first horse is some achievement and if he runs well, then the dream is still alive."
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