Early Doors

Rooney calls time on disastrous career as a racehorse owner

Wayne Rooney's days as a racehorse owner are over for the time being at least after he decided to retire the two expensive flops he owns.

The Manchester United retired thoroughbreds Pippy and Switcharooney after they managed to win just one race between them.

Rooney bought both horses with his wife Coleen last year – Pippy cost £63,600 while Switcharooney came in at a hefty £60,000 and both nags were placed in the Manor House Stables in Cheshire that are co-owned by Rooney's former England and Manchester United team-mate Michael Owen.

The horses also cost around £20,000-a-year each to look after but the Rooneys have seen little return on the investment.

Pippy ran 17 times in total but won just one race – a low level race in Wolverhampton that only pocketed Rooney £4,200 in prize money.

Switcharooney was an even bigger flop – failing to finish better than fifth in its six races.

What's more, Rooney also had a third horse called Tomway, which again failed to even place in six outings, leading Rooney to sell the horse last year for just £2,000 despite spending nearly £16,000 on him.

Jockeys riding the Rooneys' horses wore pink and white slips but were regularly only seen near the back of the field.

Pippy in action

Trainer Tom Dascombe explained the retirement of the horses by telling the Sunday Sun: "There's nothing sinister in this.

"They’ve just not performed as well as everyone hoped."

A Rooney spokesperson said the couple "may go back into ownership at some stage".

The Sunday Sun speculates that the entire raceowner venture set Rooney back about £200,000, which - while an eye-popping loss to most of us - is still only around a single week's worth of wages for Rooney.